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Visual aid part of prosecution's closing arguments
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda told jurors in Sanford, Florida, Thursday that Trayvon Martin was doing "normal things" on Feb. 26, 2012. But George Zimmerman thought he was "up to no good." Zimmerman "presumed something that was not true," that the teenager on his way home from a convenience store was a "suspect," a criminal. "Instead of waiting for the police to come and do their job," de la Rionda said, Zimmerman tracked Trayvon and confronted him. Consequently, "a teenager is dead," de la Rionda continued. "He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions."

That was the beginning of two hours of closing arguments in which the prosecutor painted Zimmerman as a police wannabe who took the law into his own hands against someone he showed ill will toward by assuming Trayvon should be included in the category of "assholes" and "fucking punks," terms de la Rionda apologized to the jurors for using practically every time he did so.

The defense will present about two hours of closing arguments of its own Friday, followed by an hour of rebuttal from the prosecution. Jurors will then be given instructions about the law and what charges they can convict or acquit Zimmerman on and sent off to deliberate.

Aided by placards printed with color-coded timelines, slides and videos of interviews and a "reenactment" of the shooting, de la Rionda repeatedly told jurors "you decide" as he called Zimmerman a liar several times and challenged his claims he shot Trayvon in self-defense. Among key interrelated points, some of them re-emphasized throughout his argument:

• Zimmerman's actions led to the confrontation with Trayvon. De la Rionda said: "But who followed who? Who was minding his own business? Of the two, who was the one who was armed and who knew that they were armed?" Zimmerman brought a gun to a fight that he started, de la Rionda said.

• Zimmerman's claims to police that he was fearful don't make sense. The fearfulness Zimmerman expressed, de la Rionda contended, was part of a string of exaggerations used to convince police that he felt threatened. Among these were his claim that Trayvon circled his car and seemed at one point to be reaching into his waistband. "Why does this defendant get out of the car if he thinks [Trayvon] is a threat to him? Because he has a gun, an equalizer."

• Zimmerman's claim of self-defense is bogus. "Is it really self-defense when you follow somebody?" De la Rionda reminded jurors that the defendant had taken a course in which the curriculum included studying the law in terms of self-defense. "So [he] knows all the bullet points needed to show that."

Read below the fold for more from the prosecution's closing arguments:

• Zimmerman used bad judgment. De la Rionda pointed out that the Neighborhood Watch volunteer didn't approach Trayvon and introduce himself and tell the teenager that he was behaving suspiciously and the cops were coming.

• Jurors should not dismiss the testimony of Trayvon's friend Rachel Jeantel because of her lack of sophistication and education. Jeantel was on the phone with him when the confrontation began and said Trayvon had called the person following him a "creepy ass cracker." Said de la Rionda: "I had a dream that today a witness would be judged not on the color of her personality but the content of her testimony." And: "But did she speak the truth?" The jurors, he said, should think about what she testified that Trayvon Martin had said. "Isn't it consistent with the other evidence?"

• The fact that Zimmerman called Trayvon an "asshole" under his breath was "not a description," de la Rionda said. "Why is he uttering that word, other than that is how he feels. [...] I would say that is more than a little angry: that's ill will, that's hatred." By calling him a "fucking punk," the prosecutor went on, Zimmerman indicated he had already made up his mind that Trayvon was a criminal.

• De la Rionda noted that paying attention to what was going on in the neighborhood was a good thing. And that wanting to be a cop and taking criminal-justice courses, as Zimmerman had done, were also good things. But it was wrong for him to take the law into own hands, he added.

• The prosecutor used snippets from taped police interviews with Zimmerman, the reenactment of the shooting and an interview with Fox host Sean Hannity to support his argument that Zimmerman changed his story.

For instance, de la Rionda said, Zimmerman claimed to police that he was not following Trayvon but looking for the name of a street that he didn't know even though he had lived in the gated community where the shooting took place for four years and walked his dog there every day. The prosecutor says it was an obvious lie for him to say he didn't know the street's name.

Zimmerman's description of the fight he says Trayvon started in a surprise punch to the nose also doesn't stand up to scrutiny, de la Rionda said, noting that Zimmerman quickly caught himself and backtracked during the reenactment with the police: "When I walked back toward him ... I saw him coming toward me."

Zimmerman's description of the fight also makes no sense, de la Rionda told jurors. Zimmerman said that he fell backward onto the grass after Trayvon punched him. Trayvon then climbed on top of him, in Zimmerman's version, and kept punching him, saying "you're going to die tonight, motherfucker," as Zimmerman began screaming for help. At this point, Trayvon put his hands over Zimmerman's nose and mouth and went for Zimmerman's gun, according to his version.

How many hands did Trayvon have? de la Rionda asked. And how did the teenager see the gun, in the dark, with Zimmerman on his back and the weapon holstered inside his waistband on the back of his hip beneath him. "How did the victim see this gun? Or is it just another lie that [Zimmerman] tells?" And, "He's holding one hand over his mouth, one hand over his noise and with that third hand he reaches for the gun?" 

De la Rionda said Zimmerman had told officers that after firing his pistol, he didn't at first realize he had shot Trayvon. But if that was the case, the prosecutor asked "What the heck's he doing holstering the gun?"

As to the testimony of eyewitness John Good, who said he saw the darker-skinned, darker-clothed person in the fight on top swinging his fists at the person beneath, de la Rionda pointed out that Good didn't see the actual shooting or the blows hitting. And he didn't see the defendant's hands. "Did [Zimmerman] have the gun out? ... Was [Trayvon] trying to protect himself from the gun?"

• If Trayvon was beating Zimmerman so badly, de la Rionda asked, why did the police and medical examiner find minor injuries to his knuckles and no blood from Zimmerman on his hands?

• After the shooting, Zimmerman said he spread Trayvon's arms out, claiming that he was looking for a weapon. Said de la Rionda, "Why did he have to say that? Because it's part of wanting to be a cop. [...] Because that's what cops do." When the police arrived and found Trayvon face down, his hands were underneath him.

To believe Zimmerman's version, the prosecutor said, jurors have to believe that Trayvon surprised him with a sucker-punch, that Zimmerman lay on the ground being whaled on and finally managed to pull out his pistol and shoot the teenager through the heart from a difficult angle.

Instead, de la Rionda said, there was a fight in which the two rolled around, with the victim  and the defendant each sometimes on top. "But, again, why did this occur? What led up to this?"

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (177+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    navajo, k9disc, Senor Unoball, kerplunk, mrsgoo, jeff in nyc, hulibow, jadt65, JML9999, where4art, leftist vegetarian patriot, MI Sooner, IndyinDelaware, psyched, sordiddetails, Proud Mom and Grandma, KayCeSF, Tommy Aces, orangecurtainlib, LilithGardener, emsprater, Carol in San Antonio, Fe Bongolan, Wreck Smurfy, gchaucer2, Tunk, TerryDarc, 88kathy, gramofsam1, deben, Ian S, doroma, 714day, leema, divineorder, Julia Grey, VickiL, brook, pierre9045, Ninepatch, AoT, democracy inaction, rubyr, rantsposition, Desert Rose, WheninRome, OLinda, Mary Mike, Vita Brevis, no way lack of brain, SaintC, VinnieSaltine, blw, Caneel, T100R, jnhobbs, ratcityreprobate, Randomfactor, Mr MadAsHell, HappyinNM, melfunction, wu ming, Tonedevil, pixxer, livjack, bobatkinson, 3goldens, kayfromsouth, FogCityJohn, Buckeye Nut Schell, Pi Li, SanFernandoValleyMom, shortgirl, glendaw271, zmom, TokenLiberal, Tailspinterry, JoanMar, Joy of Fishes, TuffyCat, wasatch, Villanova Rhodes, OldSoldier99, eeff, boophus, jck, TomFromNJ, reflectionsv37, Carnivorous Plantling, BYw, SoCalSal, mumtaznepal, annetteboardman, Vetwife, NormAl1792, Ishmaelbychoice, john07801, spunhard, CA Nana, Lashe, ItsSimpleSimon, BluejayRN, basket, sceptical observer, worldlotus, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Mannie, peagreen, TRPChicago, hoof32, Remediator, Brian1066, emal, historys mysteries, The Marti, timewarp, America Jones, stvnjon, cocinero, shermanesq, duhban, HCKAD, dewley notid, Black Max, Debby, Sychotic1, eru, OHeyeO, sukeyna, Lily O Lady, thankgodforairamerica, Nimbus, alice kleeman, SheLawyer, Brooke In Seattle, RadGal70, LaughingPlanet, never forget 2000, YucatanMan, mujr, sandrad23, TracieLynn, rbird, smileycreek, Portlaw, thomask, Eric Nelson, Gustogirl, tin woodswoman, Grabber by the Heel, localroger, DarthMeow504, retLT, Lilredhead, JerryNA, AsianAfricanAmerican, Nebraskablue, mimi, Sassy, radical simplicity, Demeter Rising, peterfallow, jdld, chipoliwog, Denise Oliver Velez, Actbriniel, BadKitties, True North, Matt Z, Oh Mary Oh, misshelly, Edge PA, white blitz, Yasuragi, OjaiValleyCali, ramara, sethtriggs

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:36:00 PM PDT

      •  thus you point out to fatal flaw in SRG (5+ / 0-)

        or one of them.

        When both people feel afraid or wary of each other...as Zimmerman says in this case (and I do believe he did feel some fear when he was LOOSING a fight he started)...they both can be eligible for SRG.

        It's about feeling imminent threat.

        I kinda wish they pointed this out. GZ's fears were unfounded....ostensibly if GZ new TM was just a kid getting Skittles, unarmed, walking home, he's not have had any issue.

        While TM would still have been leary...white guy with a gun following him. Would have been freaky even if he knew GZ was Neighborhood Watch

        •  "fatal flaw in SRG" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thestructureguy, Bailey2001, VClib

          This isn't a SYG case, it's a self-defense case.

        •  Stand your Ground is not a part of this case. It (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          is traditional self defense and used in all states.

          •  SYG is a crappy law that ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            True North, Yasuragi

            ... needs to die on the vine.

            But that's besides the point. The point here is that based on the evidence, the jury can make some natural inferences, including:

            1.  Who started the fight? Was it the much bigger guy with the gun and the MMA training who was following the other guy? Or, was it the smaller guy with no gun or MMA training and who wanted to get back home in time to watch a basketball game?

            2.  Who is more likely to start a fight, someone who knows he has a gun or someone who knows he doesn't have a gun?

            3.  Would somebody as paranoid as George Zimmerman--remember he had a gun, a concealed carry permit, two flashlights and a cellphone on his person, and he'd gone through extensive handgun and MMA training and who claimed that he believed that Trayvon was a criminal--let himself be snuck up on by a kid? There was a wide courtyard walkway with a sidewalk and no bushes near the sidewalk. This was why Zimmerman had to fabricate the story about looking for a street name for a street he'd been walking down for years.  

            The natural inferences based on the evidence are there for the jury to convict. (And that's on top of the direct evidence).

             

            I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

            by Tortmaster on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:18:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To claim a person was on top (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nswalls, Yasuragi

              of another for 60 seconds hitting them is a complete joke , most street fights last less than 60 sec.,,,, that is a life time in a fight , can you imagine that kid on an adult being able to control and stay on top for 60 sec without GZ being able to toss  him aside ?

              Olympic boxing goes 3 minutes per round , anyone who has ever even tried it casually knows that just one minute of boxing will leave you breathless for some time afterwards

              This is just another example of what a bad liar GZ is

              Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

              by Patango on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:47:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And that's a key, Patango, to ... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Donkey Hotey, True North, Yasuragi

                ... derailing Zimmerman's self-defense claim. It is ludicrous in so many ways, not the least of which is the fact that he suffered only superficial injuries and yet felt the need to kill Trayvon. Then, there's the fact that the injuries don't match Zimmerman's statements about what happened. The three-armed Trayvon, the continuous screaming unaccounted for in his time line, the claim that Trayvon went for a black gun and black holster hidden behind Zimmerman at night and on and on. If Zimmerman is unbelievable, so is his defense.

                So, that leaves us with evidence and the reasonable inferences drawn from evidence to show that Zimmerman initially provoked the incident, and after that, his self-defense claim falls apart from sheer incongruity at every turn.

                Finally, as a person who wrestled in college and boxed, I don't know how a much heavier person can fear for his life against an unarmed and untrained teenager he outweighs by 50 pounds or so. That's why they have weight classes in boxing and wrestling. There is simply no problem handling an untrained individual who is that much lighter than you.  

                I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

                by Tortmaster on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 12:12:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am admittedly (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Donkey Hotey, white blitz, Yasuragi

                  Biased for the prosecution , and like you are pointing out Tortmaster , the prosecutions makes some points that just can not be dismissed , a lot of pro GZ people seem to think these facts will not matter to the jury

                  And look what happened today , they traced the Boston Strangler by collecting an old DNA sample from an old drinking water bottle , and matched it with a semen stain left by him at the crime scene 50 years ago , and got like a 99% confirmation match

                  Yet there is nothing on TM ?

                  Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                  by Patango on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 12:44:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  fatal flaw in your argument (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Donkey Hotey

          TM wasn't afraid. Listen to Rachel Jeantel's testimony.

          GZ did not claim "imminent threat" when he followed TM or when they re-connected 3 minutes later. GZ's claim of "imminent threat" was that after being sucker punched, mounted, pummeled for 60 seconds, then having his head repeatedly smashed on concrete, he felt "imminent threat" when TM declared he was going to die MF then reached for his gun.

          •  But to even get to that ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lying eyes, ozoozol

            ... point you have to believe that a paranoid individual who took two flashlights and a cellphone with him as he followed another human being he claimed was a potential criminal, and who had previously prepared with MMA lessons, handgun lessons, obtained a concealed carry permit and who called police would have allowed a kid to sneak up on him in a wide walkway courtyard. That is impossible for me to believe.

            Jurors can make natural inferences from the evidence, and there's no getting around the inference that a paranoid individual like Zimmerman kept to the middle of the path and was on a keen look-out for Trayvon.

            The only other way to get around the inference is if Zimmerman was running after Trayvon, perhaps to tackle him, and Trayvon ducked him, but I bet you don't want to go there.

            I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

            by Tortmaster on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:58:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If Trayvon Martin were here to tell us (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yasuragi

            jogabr, you said: " TM wasn't afraid. Listen to Rachel Jeantel's testimony."

            The phone call ended when Zimmerman confronted Trayvon Martin. That's when the physical struggle began.

            How can you possibly know what Trayvon Martin felt at each moment from the time the call ended until Zimmerman pulled the trigger, putting an end to Trayvon Martin being able to tell us, in his own words, how he felt?

            There was one witness to what Zimmerman did in those minutes: Zimmerman killed him.

          •  But.... (0+ / 0-)
            GZ's claim of "imminent threat" was that after being sucker punched, mounted, pummeled for 60 seconds, then having his head repeatedly smashed on concrete, he felt "imminent threat" when TM declared he was going to die MF then reached for his gun.
            ....the problem is the evidence is not very consistent with ANY of that - much less all of it -  actually having occurred.
      •  Only the survivor gets the SYG defense, which (34+ / 0-)

        Means one needs to be the one to kill first. It's a horrible law.

        “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

        by jeff in nyc on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:46:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You got in one. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Donkey Hotey

          Skeeerie Black guy's will be killed way disproportionally to  not skeeerie white guys, because Black.

          That is the whole reason for the social uproar about this case, most vocally from the Whites, who see with their brains functioning, and not their retroracism.

          •  I am as white as skin can get (10+ / 0-)

            and I can't see support for Zimmerman to be based on anything other than some level of racism. It takes a desire to want to believe him. Those who instinctively sympathize with him need to look deep inside.

            But if course that's a different issue than whether the state can get an all white jury to convict him.

            Money doesn't talk it swears.

            by Coss on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:15:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  White people /= Zimmerman supporters (7+ / 0-)

              I'm white and I hope the bastard rots in jail for a very long time and serves as a warning to any fool who might think of trying to do something similar. I'm certain I'm far from alone in this.

              However, I do agree that those white people who are Zimmerman supporters are almost certainly motivated by racism.

              "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

              by DarthMeow504 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:20:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  my support for GZ is based on evidence. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              white blitz

              As this white man sits in a Starbucks where 90% of patrons are African American, having lived in an AA neighborhood for the last 22 years, while actively supporting my mostly black community, I take issue with your broad brush.

              When I first heard the original Park & Crump narrative of the scared boy being hunted by the racist vigilante I too was outraged. But once I learned of GZ's injuries, I understood that the P&C narrative was invalid. I've since learned additional details that support GZ's contention and further erode the P&C story. I have now been waiting for 15 months for the opponents of GZ to come up with a coherent alternate narrative that is supported by the facts. I'm still waiting. Until then, only one theory that has been proposed is consistent with the facts and that is what GZ told SPD 16 months ago.

            •  Another reason some support GZ- (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sethtriggs

              gun worship.

              I support him from the stance of right to fair trial. I believe in being open minded and forming opinion based on evidence. I think the evidence shows many of his claims to be exaggerated or outright bullshit. There also seems to be some element of truth. The fact that TM's clothing was away from his body when he was shot surprised me.

              I can't put together a coherent version of what actually happened, but I think it's obvious that GZ's version has some pretty big holes in it. I was hoping we would get enough clear evidence to figure out what really happened. Unfortunately only GZ will ever know, but even what he "knows" may be screwed up by the side effects of the drugs he was taking.

      •  The judge rejected that argument today. (8+ / 0-)

        The State asked for an instruction based on the Florida statute on self-defense by an aggressor.   The State argued that, under that law, Zimmerman could be the aggressor because he followed Martin and "confronted" him.  The State asked for the instruction on that basis.

        The defense, citing Gibbs (a case I've cited here numerous times) argued, among other things, that to "provoke" Martin into using force, there had to be evidence that Zimmerman used or threatened force, and there was no evidence of that.  The defense said that, therefore, the judge should NOT give that instruction.

        The Court ruled that it would not give that instruction.  

        That's a ruling that there's no evidence that Zimmerman "provoked" Martin into using force against Zimmerman.  

        You will notice that the only thing BDLR said today is that Zimmerman "started it" by following Martin.  But he cannot say that Martin was "defending himself" or was "justified" in hitting Zimmerman, because the judge has already ruled that there is no evidence sufficient to make that argument.  

        •  For anyone who is actually curious (8+ / 0-)

          here's what Yahoo says the Judge says:

          Zimmerman murder trial judge denies defense request on jury instruction

           The judge presiding over the murder trial of George Zimmerman denied a defense request on Thursday that jurors be instructed the neighborhood watch volunteer did nothing illegal in deciding to follow Trayvon Martin, before the encounter in which he shot and killed the unarmed black teenager.

          "I am not giving that instruction," Seminole Count
          Nelson ruled after West failed to cite any law spelling out the legality of following someone by car or on foot. Evidence at Zimmerman's trial has shown it was his pursuit of Martin, with a concealed semiautomatic handgun, that set in motion the event that led to Martin's death.

          http://news.yahoo.com/...

          If you are really bored, go back to look up Coffee Talk's actual previous statements on the subject

          •  Hmm, you cite Yahoo, I cite the actual video (8+ / 0-)

            of the charge conference today, where you can see for yourself the arguments and the Court's rulings.  

            It begins about three minutes into  this video, continues in this video,  and the ruling is at the end of this video.  See especially the defense's argument beginning about 2 minutes into that last video, and then when she rules for the defense.  

            Have you ever seen a charge conference?  If not, you might want to watch the three videos in full.  It's exactly what I said it was.  

            One thing you should know about cryptic news reports about legal proceedings, they don't always get things quite right.  

            •  Yeah (5+ / 0-)

              I can see almost anyone else citing Yahoo as a source for a legal proceeding...but someone who claims to be a lawyer?

              Oh, and there's no jury instruction that going to 7-11 and buying Skittles is legal also, so are we to assume that's illegal?

              Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

              by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:02:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The article places the judges instructions (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doroma, Gustogirl, VinnieSaltine

              into context. I am not going to go back and forth win you. People can decide for themselves what all this means without your interpretation or mine.

              •  So you didn't watch the videos, and you don't (6+ / 0-)

                understand what the charge conference was.  

                The article places the judges instructions (0+ / 0-)
                into context
                This statement makes no sense. The judge didn't give any instructions today, and there were no "judge's instructions" to "place into context."  The judge had what is known as a "charge conference," which is legal argument on which instructions should, and should not, be given to the jury by the judge AFTER all closing arguments are done.  So even saying "the article put the judge's instructions in context" is wrong, as they judge didn't have any instructions today in any context.  Today was argument and rules about what those instructions WILL BE on tomorrow afternoon or Friday.  

                You should at least develop an understanding of what happened in Court today before you criticize me and claim that a short Yahoo news story is preferable for determining what went on in Court today over actual videos of what went on in Court today.

                No wonder you misstate what's going on - you rely on Yahoo instead of video of what happened in court. I've tried cases that have been covered in the press (not with this level of national coverage, of course).  The news does not always get things right.  

                •  Ok if you say so (3+ / 0-)

                  Good luck.

                  •  I can't believe this troll, coffeetalk (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CrissieP, Mash, VinnieSaltine, sukeyna

                    is still around.

                    Her bias on any subject is so transparent that I stopped responding to her at all a year ago.

                    Ignore her and maybe she will go away, although I expect that won't affect her pay.

                    Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

                    by Gustogirl on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:36:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm not by any means a fan of coffetalk (6+ / 0-)

                      But this is unfair.

                      I've also ignored most of her comments for a while, but I do appreciate her commentary here, on this case, which is (mostly) objective statements about the law.

                      I don't like right-wing trolls anymore than you do, but I don't think that's what coffeetalk is. I think she's an intelligent person who sees the world differently than we do.

                      I don't see the reason to bash people like that. So what if coffeetalk is a conservative? If we can't respond to her comments on a website, how the hell do we respond to that in the real world?

                      Tools are tools, but they are STILL necessary.

                      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                      by BoiseBlue on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:04:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  If you check my comment history (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Patango

                        You will see that I have many times implored my Kossian friends to engage and discuss with people on the right.  I have long maintained that the divide of the people has been deliberately engineered and that the financial debacle of 2008 would never have gone unpunished had that divide not been manufactured.

                        But there is a difference between engaging with people who listen to what you have to say and respond accordingly and vice versa as you yourself live up to the responsibility of mutual exchange.

                        Coffeetalk is so rigidly engaged with her own view that there is no listening.  Bring up one point and she glides into another without acknowledging even a single ounce of truth might possibly, in some alternate universe exist, in what you offered of your thoughts.  

                        I received a warning for my above comment, which merely expressed my perplexity as to why she might be continuing to engage here, since she is obviously not growing in her perception because she is so focused on deflection in order to reiterate her view.

                        The numbers of people who explain to her how and why she is wrong is diminishing because it is exhausting to talk to a brick wall. What, is that not a definition of a troll?

                        Ban me if you want.  I notice the diminishing numbers here. Perhaps others were a bit astonished to get a warning after such a long residence here, as I was. DailyKos has long been my go-to place - so much so that I haven't really explored a lot of other sites that I know are out there.  If it came down to a choice between me and coffeetalk, I'm sure I wouldn't want to be here if I were considered more offensive than she.

                        Just as a final bit, I've always admired your posts, BoiseBlue.  It really surprised me that you don't see through this person too.

                        •  I haven't seen anything ideological (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Pi Li, Dr Swig Mcjigger

                          from coffeetalk. She is giving us an unemotional lawyer's perspective on the case, a refreshing departure from all the hot air around here. There is nothing il-liberal about that. I for one am grateful to the handful of attorneys here who are calmly and rationally offering us their expertise to counter the mountain of ignorant opinion.

                          Don't engage with her if you don't want to. She has as much right to speak as anyone else.

                          We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

                          by denise b on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:25:39 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  "sees the world differently" (0+ / 0-)

                        Yeah, she looks a facts, unlike Gustogirl, bruh1, and a lot of other intellectually dishonest ideologues here.

                    •  Hence why I am stopping (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Gustogirl, AsianAfricanAmerican

                      waste of time

                      She her crew and those seeking to rationalize will believe whatever she says

                      No point in debating

                    •  Why is she a troll? For being an attorney and (4+ / 0-)

                      offering legal analysis that is contrary to what you believe or want to hear?  I have never once seen one comment of hers that appeared to be her own personal opinion, bias or otherwise, but rather her comments are always simply her legal observation.  

                      Would you rather her lie and tell you that the law is really different than the way it actually is? Or perhaps she is supposed to just not say anything?

                       I just don't get that attitude about it.

                      •  A number of people have explained to her (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Patango

                        why the law is different than what she says it is.  She is lying or uninformed.

                        Her "legal observations" are biased by opinion.  She is regularly refuted, but is apparently far more effective than I would think she could be on a site full of bright people.  She fooled you.

                        Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

                        by Gustogirl on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:06:32 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Coffeetalk (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Gustogirl, sukeyna

                          Appears to infuse legal jargon with her own pro GZ opinion , then will claim

                          " THAT IS JUST THE LAW "

                          When people find inconsistencies in her APPLIED opinion / law

                          And then like most conservatives will do , will ignore the other facts being made and continue to claim her OPINIONLAW is the only thing that will ever matter legally

                          And I guarantee some people think my posts are wacky also

                          I would not use the word troll , the more I am on the internet the more I realize how much difference there is between SOUTH , NORTH , CONSERVATIVE , LIBERAL , EAST , WEST, MIDWEST, SOUTHWEST , LAWYER , CONSTRUCTION WORKER , BLACK , WHITE , RED , BROWN , ROUND EYES , DESERT EYES , TUNDRA EYES , MALE FEMALE , FEMALE MALE , GAY , HETRO , MONO

                          I grew up in Iowa and I talk to people from western Virginia , and they might as well have went to school on Mars

                          Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                          by Patango on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 12:31:17 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  Have you watched it? You are really relying on (0+ / 0-)

                Yahoo?

              •  Give it up, bruh (0+ / 0-)

                I watched pts 6, 7, and 8, linked above by coffeetalk, it's clear to me that the defense won that round.

                Just an aside, I never use Yahoo News, they rely on crap-worthy AP stories.  Very annoying news source, Yahoo.

                "Sell 'crazy' someplace else, we're all stocked up here." -Melvin Udall

                by hoof32 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:00:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Again (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gustogirl, doroma

              A ruling on what the judge will or will not put in a jury instruction is not a ruling on what either side can argue. Surely you understand the difference yet you represent in your comment above that somehow the judge ruled the state could or could not say something in closing argument.

              Simply false.

              •  I assure you that if the prosecution uses the (5+ / 0-)

                word "provoked" as in "Zimmerman provoked Martin into hitting him," there would be an objection and a request to instruct the jury on that.  There was no mention today of Zimmerman "provoking" Martin, or of Martin hitting Zimmerman in self-defense.  That's not an accident.

                Of course the judge doesn't say, in advance of a closing, what a lawyer can say.  But that was a ruling that there was not evidence that Zimmerman "provoked the use of force against himself" so as to be the aggressor under 776.041.  The prosecution now knows full well that an argument to the jury that Zimmerman provoked the use of force against himself by following Martin is improper.

                Even more directly, if that instruction HAD been included, then the prosecution would have used it in their closing -- they would have argued, using those instances of "following" and "confronting," that Zimmerman "provoked" Martin.

                What do YOU think would happen if the prosecution said to the jury something like this:  "If Martin did hit Zimmerman in the nose, it was Zimmerman's own fault, because by following Martin, Zimmerman provoked Martin into hitting him"? I can tell you -- objection, motion for a mistrial.  

                The prosecution knows full well that they can't say that now.  That's why they softened it in closing -- BDLR only said that Zimmerman "started it" or "started this whole thing."  He's staying away from saying that Zimmerman provoked Martin into hitting him -- and that's something he COULD have said if the Court had given the instruction.  

                Take a look at the Gibbs case.  The law is as clear as West said, and the prosecution KNOWS the law is that clear, as West also said.  You can't provoke force on yourself unless you use or threaten force.  And the judge rejected the prosecution's argument today that following is "provoking force against yourself" under the law.  

                It's the same principle as the rejection of the prosecution's request for an instruction on Murder 3 based on child abuse.  That was rejected.  Don't you think that now means that it would be improper for the prosecution to argue, in closing, "Zimmerman's a child abuser"?  The judge didn't rule that the prosecution can't say that in closing.  But if they do, it clearly will be improper.  

                •  "Provoked" is the new stalking (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  coffeetalk, Bailey2001, VClib, andalusi

                  Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                  by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:41:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry, I call BS (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  doroma

                  You wrote:

                  That's a ruling that there's no evidence that Zimmerman "provoked" Martin into using force against Zimmerman.  

                  You will notice that the only thing BDLR said today is that Zimmerman "started it" by following Martin.  But he cannot say that Martin was "defending himself" or was "justified" in hitting Zimmerman, because the judge has already ruled that there is no evidence sufficient to make that argument.  

                  The judge made no such ruling. The judge ruled what she would or would not put in a jury instruction.

                  You need to be more honest in your representations.

                  •  The ruling on the jury instruction was based on (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    thestructureguy, Pi Li, VClib, hoof32

                    what was in evidence, as argued by counsel (you can see that in the videos I linked).  

                    The lawyers argued whether the instruction should be given based on the evidence.  

                    The judge's ruling not to give the instruction was an acceptance of the defense's argument that there was no evidence in the record that Zimmerman provoked the use of force against himself under Gibbs.  

                    She didn't flip a coin to decide whether to put it into the jury instructions.  She based it on the arguments of counsel.  

                    •  You know (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      coffeetalk, VClib, hoof32

                      This reminded me of something I read from one of the provocation/stalking experts on here, who gave us this bit of legal clairvoyance:

                      I am not an expert (2+ / 0-)
                      I would assume that the prosecution w ould put on a case of provocation and the defene will try to put on a case showing that even if it was provocation that it escalated so the defendant was still justified

                      This would be a guess

                      Each party would then seek the jury instructions depending on FL law that will help them based on the case they tried to present to the jury

                      I dont see anything here that would put block the provation instruction because I think that can be shown since the standard, unlike what people sem to be believe, in FL for provocation isn't tha tone has violated the law

                      The stalking standard really is just gravy and makes provocation easier to prove rather than eing necessary to argue provocation

                      by bruh1 on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 10:52:07 AM EST

                      Well, at least he got the first line of that post right. :)

                      Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                      by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:33:49 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Wow (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bruh1, doroma, Gustogirl, Patango

                      I'm sorry but your level of ignorance on jury instruction is stunning.

                      I think there is probably no point in further pursuing this.

                      •  There really isn't any point (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Mash, Patango

                        to it.

                        To be clear, I wrote something along the lines of I use case law and that includes states, so I don't read statute alone

                        Coffee responded by saying "see he doesn't read statute"

                        PiLi uprated it

                        •  I'm guessing (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bruh1, Gustogirl

                          Either they are really bad lawyers ( Barry Zuckercorn from Arrested Development) or first year law students who can't see past the law books to the law.

                          •  I really have no idea what motivates them (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Gustogirl

                            I know that Coffee Talk has persistently argued there is no legal basis for provocation but then if that were the case from a logical stand point I can't imagine a Florida prosecutor and judge inviting an obvious appeal and reversal of the case since provocation is exactly what the prosecution is arguing as part of their case.

                            Also when I have looked up provocation, it seems like a vague term , which seems to mostly center around reasonable belief about imminent threats of illegal acts or actual illegal acts, but the key word seems to be "imminent"

                            There's some case law, but its not very helpful, and other case law indicates pursuit can be evidence of provocation.

                            Someone else has told me they just really like arguing. I am over doing that so much. It goes no where. So, I am going to unilaterally back away.

                          •  from what I understand from reading (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Gustogirl

                            analysis today, the jury instructions are pretty generic for Florida, and can't really be read into for much of anything

                            eg even the manslagther lesser included offense is pretty common? at least thats what I read

        •  Not at all true (6+ / 0-)

          The judge did no such thing. The discussion was over what would be in the jury instruction. Not what the prosecution or defense could say in closing argument. I watched the entire hearing this morning on the jury instruction.

          Please do not mislead people here who did not watch. I understood you to be a lawyer so I am surprised you would confuse what goes or does not go in a jury instruction with what either side can say.

          It's a pretty amateur error on your part.

          •  I answered you in the other post. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pi Li, thestructureguy, VClib, hoof32

            Of course there was no ruling on what people can say in closing.  But an argument now by the prosecution that, by following Martin, Zimmerman provoked Martin into hitting him would clearly draw an objection and maybe more.  

            The judge also rejected an instruction on Murder 3 based on child abuse.  No, she did not rule that the prosecution can't say, "And Zimmerman is a child abuser."  But anything like that would draw an objection or more.  

          •  Are you saying that they could use provoke or (0+ / 0-)

            other language indicating Zimmerman directly brought it on himself?

            Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

            by thestructureguy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:15:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Jury instruction (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doroma, bruh1, Gustogirl

              The judge's ruling on the jury instruction does not speak to what the prosecution or defense can say in closing. The prosecution's argument in fact is that Zimmerman provoked the confrontation. But that is their argument. The judge was not going to put the prosecution's theory of the case in jury instruction. She made the right call on this and on a number of other items concerning what the prosecution and defense wanted in the jury instruction. For example, the defense wanted the judge to include in the instruction that following a person was not a crime. The judge declined to include that as well, and rightly so.

              •  Your view seems exactly right. She essentially (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                doroma, Gustogirl

                said no to both sides, and left them to argue their position the jury.

                She neither said that the chasing was provocation nor "not provocation" with the later being claims being made here.

                You are probably right about the instructions.I had thought she might, but ultimately, you are right that it was the right ruling in terms of not biasing either side.

              •  Mash comments (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mash, sethtriggs
                "The prosecution's argument in fact is that Zimmerman provoked the confrontation."
                And this is what these LAWYERS have been hostile to this whole time whenever there is a diary on this subject

                They claim any comments that suggest GZ created the confrontation at all are absolutely not legal in any manner or form , and no one should ever be allowed to  even bring it up in the trial  

                But then every suggestion that TM was threatening and went after GZ , then assaulted him , were all perfectly legal and were fine to mention during the trail

                Their argument never made any sense over all , one person can be painted as provocative , but then the other can not ? Because the law supposedly said so ?

                All while one person was armed and in pursuit , while the other is walking home and talking to a girl on the phone  

                Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                by Patango on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 01:26:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  We don't know that he didn't already have the gun (7+ / 0-)

        out.
        Under the circumstances he probably did at least at the point he began looking for Trayvon in that dark walk way.

        There is nothing that Zimmerman has claimed that does not give Trayvon the right to try to make him stop stalking him.

        Stalking is a criminal assault in Tort law.  

        And if Zimmerman already had his gun out when they finally came face to face, Treyvon still was the one with the primary right to defend himself.

        Of the two the stalker was acting more like a criminal than the person who feels they are being stalked, and the criminal had a gun.

        What would you do?

      •  "He was the one attacked without provocation." (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doroma, VClib, rlb

        If we knew definitively who attacked who, then the case would be decided, wouldn't it. But we don't.

      •  you have wrong facts. (0+ / 0-)

        There is no evidence or testimony that supports a claim of GZ attacking TM.

        •  Wrong. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sukeyna, Patango, True North

          The jury can look at the facts and, using them, make reasonable inferences. Again, who provoked the attack: The guy who was much heavier with the MMA training and a gun who was following, or the other, lighter guy who didn't have a gun and who was being followed? That is a natural inference that is impossible to ignore.

          I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

          by Tortmaster on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:50:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The big problem with that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, thestructureguy

      ...is that while Zimmerman got out of his car, how the fight actually started is still unclear.  Did Zimmerman confront Trayvon directly and attack him?  Did he confront him and Trayvon attacked him?  Did Trayvon attack him out of the darkness?  Was there one encounter and then another that led to the shooting?

      That's the problem: we do not know for certain.  So to describe it as "chasing" can be asserted, but you can't really prove it or prove how the fight itself started.

    •  Yes you can. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hoof32

      Under the theory that you are espousing, if I were to meet with someone to try and defuse bad blood between the two of us in a private location against the advice of authorities and that person were to attempt to kill me, I would have no ability to defend myself.

      First of all, the authorities would advise against it as a matter of their own defense of liability.  If they hadn't it could be easily argued that they should have after the fact and were therefore negligent in their duty to protect me.

      Second, just because I knowingly entered a situation that may be dangerous to myself does not negate my right to defend myself equal to the level of danger that presents itself.  i.e. If I enter a neighborhood wearing the colors of a rival neighborhood's gang and flashing signs, I still have the right to defend myself from anyone that might be offended by my obviously insulting behavior.  I might be arrested for various incitement charges, based upon local laws, but as long as I only used the same level of force/violence that was used towards myself, I wouldn't be guilty of murder in defending myself.

      All that aside, people have been approaching this entire trial incorrectly.  From the beginning, Zimmerman has made it a trial as to the threat level that Martin used upon Zimmerman.  In effect, Zimmerman has already admitted to the crime but is claiming that it was justifiable because Martin was attempting to kill him first.  The trial is about whether Martin was attempting Zimmerman.  If he was, then Zimmerman's actions were justified.  If he wasn't then they weren't.  

      It is why the Prosecution's close confused so many.  They were trying to get the jury to ask itself if Martin was a threat to Zimmerman.

      A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

      by Tempus Figits on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:51:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "ignore police" (0+ / 0-)

      1. It was a dispatcher.
      2. The dispatcher didn't give an order not to follow.
      3. No evidence introduced that he did continue to follow.

      •  Oh really? (8+ / 0-)

        1. Dispatchers in many jurisdictions are police. Whether sworn officers or civil servants, they represent the policy of the department when advising callers of what actions to take and not take.  I've had that happen myself:  "Hey, there's a really really drunk driver on Main St right now." "Are you following them?" "No, I'm just watching from the corner."  "OK, we don't want you to follow them."  It is very standard:  Don't follow them.

        2.  "Are you following him."  "Yeah."  "OK, we don't need you to do that."  Clear enough to me.  What's so hard to figure out about that?

        3.  If GZ did not follow TM after that conversation with dispatch/police, how did they come together in the same spot?  GZ was in his vehicle during the call.  There was no way for a vehicle to follow up off the road, back behind the buildings.

        Result:  Sorry, your points are simply incorrect across the board.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:54:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  you have wrong facts (0+ / 0-)

      GZ listened to police and stopped following TM in six seconds. He lost TM for over 3 minutes until TM reappeared. check the audiotapes and timelines. You are not familiar with the evidence.

  •  "bullet points" (25+ / 0-)

    jumped out at me.

    "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 03:43:37 PM PDT

  •  That's how it's done (22+ / 0-)

    With that all that arm waving, passionate and emotional presentation, along with talk of things like "common sense" and not the law, de la Rionda would make a fair defence attorney.

    In fact, for those who haven't seen a lot of criminal trials, that was textbook close.

    For the defence.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:44:53 PM PDT

    •  pi li (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer, duhban

      what did you think?

      you've been to court, you've done trials.

    •  It's a shame that the silliness of FL law... (30+ / 0-)

      ...and the state of racial profiling in the U.S. requires that he be both prosecutor and Trevon's defense attorney at the same time.

      Progressive LIBERAL-right, yet "disloyal" since January 20, 2001

      by howie14 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:55:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you saying that it was not well done as (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pi Li, doroma, basket, The Marti

      prosecution and played into the defense's hands, or that it was a prosecutorial closing in the style more typical of defense?

      We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
      Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

      by pixxer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:23:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The latter (16+ / 0-)

        That's what I felt like I was watching, a defence attorney at work…point by point, using emotions and theatrics attempting to poke holes in the state's case. So it was a bit surreal watching de la Rionda do this in attacking the defence's "case".

        Typically, a prosecutor spends her closing argument point by point arguing their theory of the case, what happened, and how the facts support a conviction under the law. And how they have proved each element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt.  That's not what the state did here today. de la Rionda spent his entire time punching holes in the defences "case", and talking very little about theirs. Their only theme seems to be, "Zimmerman profiled and followed Martin, and therefore he's defacto responsible for everything that happened after". That's their case. To anyone who tries criminal cases, surreal nature of this close was readily apparent. But it's reflective of the state's entire approach to the case.

        Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

        by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:32:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It seems to me from what I read above (10+ / 0-)

          that he was trying to poke a hole in the "self-defense" justification. I would think defense would have to make the "case" for its being self-defense in order to get off under that creepy FL law.

          We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
          Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

          by pixxer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:40:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True (7+ / 0-)

            But the prosecution still has to present their theory of the case to get a conviction on the crimes their charging with. If the jury doesn't even think the prosecution knows what happened, how do they get a conviction "beyond a reasonable doubt"?

            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

            by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:50:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not when the defense... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emsprater, bruh1, DarthMeow504, doroma

              does not contest the fact that it would have been murder/manslaughter if Zimmerman wasn't acting in self defense.  Which they had effectively done throughout the trial.

              A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

              by Tempus Figits on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:00:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, that's not true at all (4+ / 0-)

                For example, the defence vigorously challenged, throughout the trial, the state's attempts to portray the "assholes/fucking punks" comments as being of ill will and spite...and it's those comments that the state is pretty much counting on to prove that element (which is the most crucial) of murder two.

                Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:01:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Because there is no doubt at all (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doroma, bobatkinson, PorridgeGun

              ...that Zimmerman shot Martin to death. Zimmerman has admitted to homicide. His defense is claiming that it is justifiable homicide, and whether or not the jury believes that claim is the key to whether he will be convicted or acquitted.

              "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

              by DarthMeow504 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:32:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well Logically Speaking (0+ / 0-)

              ...trying to prove a specific scenario happened (it wasn't self defense AND it happened exactly THIS way) is a harder task than trying to prove one of a larger set of scenarios happened (it wasn't self-defense), so the prosecution would need a very good reason (see below*) to set their own bar higher than it needs toi be, right?

              And logically speaking often the best way TO prove a negative (it wasn't self-defense)  is to assume the positive (in this case, the defense's "theory of the case" ) and show how that assumption leads to logical inconsistencies. Which to me seemed to be what the prosecution was (very effectively) doing yesterday.    

              I, for one, think the totalilty of the evidence argues - beyiond a reasonable doubt - against self-defense. And I don't have - or need - a very specific scenario of how the fight (assuming there was one) occurred to get to that belief.

              * = potential very good reason - advancing a specific theory of what happened may reassure the jury.   In other word's thinking the "prosecution knows what happened" may well make the jury more comfortable in agreeing with the prosecution.  And that may well be a reason to give one in practice.  But it comes at a cost because it DOES open up the possibility of more logical holes in the prosecutions's case....the defense no longer has to convince the jury that it was self-defense, it may be enough to show that the one specific prosecution scenario didn't occur and  thus kill the credibility of the prosecution.

          •  The prosecution doesn't need to present (16+ / 0-)

            their "theory of the case" because but-for the self defense, there's an unlawful killing, whether its manslaughter or murder 2. Just so you are aware. This isn't a whodunit. Its a justifiable homicide case. The prosecution can use the fact the defendant lied to let the jury make logical inferences about his guilt.

            •  Yes, that seems clear. In fact, that's (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Marti, DarthMeow504, bobatkinson

              what I was saying - since the only way GZ can be convicted is if the shooting was not justified under the stand your ground law, then a "case" for its being self-defense has to be presented by the defense, and it makes sense that the prosecution was trying to poke holes in that "case."

              We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
              Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

              by pixxer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:37:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The burden is still on the prosecution (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VinnieSaltine, doroma, bobatkinson

                but its not quite as high as people keep saying because if it were, thinking of this practically, one could never disprove self defense in Florida, if the crime didn't have any witnesses since a defendant could then assert self defense and say "ah, ha, you didn't disprove every possibility"

                The standard only makes sense, and I am not saying I am right or the prosecution here is, if its prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the homicide is unlawful because it did not occur as the statements claimed by the defendant, which means, if you can prove the defendant is a liar, you can get the jury to ignore the defendant's defense

                •  this (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pixxer, bobatkinson, chaboard

                  the best way to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the self-defense claim is not applicable, is to discredit the testimony of the person providing it.

                  Had GZ taken the stand, I think we can all agree that the prosecution would have destroyed his argument of self-defense.

                  Well, a similar thing happened. The prosecution placed reasonable doubt onto the testimony of the defendant. Whether its orthodox or normal or not, the fact remains that the Prosecution basically said, "Those are balls" are discredited the witness, and thereby discredited the entire "believe every word I say" defense.

        •  True, but he finally did repeat all the lies (12+ / 0-)

          and inconsistencies in Zimmerman's stories, playing the police interview tapes back statement by statement, pointing out where they were changed.

          And he spent a lot of time pointing out the profiling and malice, intent of Zimmerman's statements, behaviour.

          I defer to your lawyerly experience, I guess I speak as if I were a juror.  

          The judge allowing in alternate charges (lesser charges) made Zimmerman sit up and wake up - he knows he's going to jail.

          And Don West totally lost it over the child abuse thing - which was fun to watch.

          "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

          by mumtaznepal on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:16:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  my thought on the prosecution (5+ / 0-)

            was that they were holding back a lot because they didn't want to give the defense the opportunity to rebut/refute. I think they know that when you have a case that doesn't have a lot of evidence, and you're against some of the best paid defense attorneys, your best chance for winning is not to goad them. Just gradually collect little pieces of testimony/evidence and then put it all together for the jury.

            We'll see if it worked...

        •  I have a feeling (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doroma, bobatkinson

          that the other prosecutor (sorry...blanking his name) will make their case point by point in the rebuttal.  Or does he have to stick to the points made today by de la Rionda?

      •  oops just asked same thing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doroma, pixxer, The Marti
    •  Because the Zimmerman isn't on trial... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doroma, bobatkinson

      The defense has made Martin, the victim, the target of the trial in their self defense claim.  So the Prosecution went about poking holes in and questioning whether it was reasonable for Zimmerman to claim self defense.

      A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

      by Tempus Figits on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:57:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree. Poor, poor closing for the prosecution. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catesby, Pi Li

      The content of this closing was all wrong for the prosecution.  Yes, he raised a LOT of questions about Zimmerman's veracity in his various statements.  But questions about Zimmerman's veracity is not enough for a conviction, because the prosecution bears the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.  That means that they have to tell the jury that, based on the evidence, here's what happened, and there's no reasonable doubt that the scenario I just outlined to you is true.

      I don't think I've ever seen a closing argument by a prosecutor that focused almost entirely on raising questions rather than providing answers.  Questions benefit the defense.  Period.  The jury will be instructed that if they have doubts about whether Zimmerman acted in self-defense, they must find him not guilty.  To get a conviction, the prosecution needs to say to the jury, this is what happened, this is the evidence to support that, there's no reasonable doubt that this is what happened, and this scenario means guilt of this crime.  

      Really, all BDLR presented to the jury as fact beyond a reasonable doubt was (1) Zimmerman admitted to following Martin at some point; (2) "there was some fighting"; and (3) Zimmerman shot Martin. The prosecutor raised questions about everything else:  a question about who confronted who;   a question about where that initial confrontation took place; a question about when and how they got to the "T"; a question about who threw the first punch; a question about whether Martin punched Zimmerman in the nose; a question about whether Martin beat Zimmerman's head against the sidewalk; a question about how bad the beating was (if it happened -- he wasn't clear about that); a question about where the gun was on Zimmerman; a question about exactly what the situation was when Zimmerman fired the gun; a question about the positions of the two when the gun was fired . . . I could go on and on.  He just raised questions; he did not give the jury a series of facts that they should accept beyond a reasonable doubt.

      It's almost as if he had the burden of proof wrong -- as if he thought that if he could poke holes in, or raise doubts about, Zimmerman's story, he gets a conviction.  In fact, the judge will instruct the jury that it's the other way around -- HE'S supposed to prove what happened beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction, and if the defense can poke enough holes in HIS story, they might get an acquittal.  He got so carried away in his reverse burden of proof that he even said, at one point, something like "the defense has to prove to you" -- that drew the objection from MOM, which was effectively by the judge who turned to instruct the jury that she would tell them the law (i.e., who has to prove what) in jury instructions.

      As I was listening to this, it was almost like being in an alternative universe, with the burden of proof reversed.  Maybe he's counting on the jury to be angry enough about Zimmerman's language, and inconsistencies in his statements, and on the jury wanting to hold someone responsible for Martin's death, that they will ignore the judge's instructions on who has the burden of proof.  

      •  Yeah (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, VClib
        As I was listening to this, it was almost like being in an alternative universe, with the burden of proof reversed.  Maybe he's counting on the jury to be angry enough about Zimmerman's language, and inconsistencies in his statements, and on the jury wanting to hold someone responsible for Martin's death, that they will ignore the judge's instructions on who has the burden of proof.  
        I'm sorry to say, I think this is exactly what they're hoping for. Especially since, you know, they couldn't get that whole child abuse thing in there. (I've had some issues with Don West's style, but I definitely shared his anger this morning...and this is speaking as someone who has slipped in her share of lesser included's...but never like that)

        Having said that, cynically speaking, I can't find much fault with this "hope the jury wants to punish Zimmerman for something" defence, as it's all he has. What else is he going to argue? I guess he scored some points regarding Zimmerman's inconsistencies, but they were really minor and I don't think it was nearly enough.

        Stylistically, I found his presentation a bit disjointed, but perhaps this was intentional because a linear approach to the facts might not have helped him. I will say that I don't care for all the shouting, sarcasm, waving, theatrics and faux outrage and emotion. Again, he's basing his case on emotions, not facts, so perhaps that's all he has, but I've always preferred a more reasoned and logical approach to the evidence

        Yeah, de la Rionda did an excellent job of proving that Zimmerman profiled and followed Martin. And if profiling and following someone were a crime, there's no doubt Zimmerman would be found guilty. Somewhere in there, however, there's a murder two and self defence trial, and maybe we'll hear about those crimes in the rebuttal.

        Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

        by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:56:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Closing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobatkinson, PorridgeGun

      I thought it was a pretty effective closing. The problem with some lawyers is that they are so convinced that the jury wants citations and case laws during closing that they forget to tell a lay jury what their theory of the case is and why it makes sense to a lay person. These are they lawyers that lose cases even though they brought a binder full of case law to closing.

      The prosecution's closing will probably get Zimmerman convicted of manslaughter and if the jury is sufficiently pissed that Zimmerman ended the life of a child because it was "God's plan", a murder 2 conviction.

    •  That's what has been bugging me about this trial (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stellaluna, coffeetalk

      It seems like, for some reason, putting reasonable doubt in the juror's minds rests with the prosecution. It's quite baffling and the reason why I've been following this case so closely.

      A) Okay, we all know GZ shot TM. The question is whether it was self-defense.

      B) It seems as though the defense is building a "beyond a reasonable doubt" case while the prosecution is building a "reasonable doubt" case.

      And to state the obvious, it should be the other way around.

      My history will clearly show that I am biased in this case and, as many others have stated, I don't like to predict what juries will do.

      It could be that they decide that Zimmerman couldn't have shot Martin in self-defense (which is what I believe). The prosecution has put plenty of doubt on that, IMO.

      But the state is supposed to prove it BEYOND a reasonable doubt.

      Anyhow, I'm glad I'm not a juror in this case, and you are right. The prosecution has put forward an awesome defense.

      I'm not that confident that they've proved murder, or even manslaughter, beyond a reasonable doubt.

      They've just put forth a lot of doubt. That's not what prosecutors are supposed to do.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:57:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can't claim self defense if you started it (42+ / 0-)

    Zimmerman can't claim self defense if he started the confrontation with someone minding his own business.

    The defense's strategy seems to be that Trayvon ended up being a better fighter than George was, so Zimmerman had to use a gun after he realized he was losing the fight

    "If they're shooting at you, you know you must be doing something right"

    by ayjaymay on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:47:18 PM PDT

    •  This is a great example... (18+ / 0-)
      Zimmerman can't claim self defense if he started the confrontation with someone minding his own business.
      ...of the type of "common sense", but ignoring the law, type of reasoning the state is inviting the jury to engage in.

      Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

      by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:49:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There has to be common sense in a trial or there'd (16+ / 0-)

        be no point in juries. The alternative to common sense is
        juries who would convict a ham sandwich and that's pretty
        much how the legal system works these days.

        •  Partially true (20+ / 0-)

          The judge will instruct the jury that they can use their common sense in evaluating the evidence, and the credibility of the witnesses.

          But they absolutely cannot substitute their "common sense" for the law, and the judge will instruct them on the law they must follow in coming to a verdict.

          The reason for this is, we all have experience in judging the credibility of people we're listening to...and evaluating factual situations. So it's OK to use our common sense when evaluating those things. But when it comes to the law, where most of us don't have experience, and might not agree with it, we can't substitute our "common" sense, which actually isn't so "common" at all, because we all most be operating under the same set of rules.

          I've been saying here throughout the course of this trial that the state is going to rely on a "but for"/"common sense" argument..i.e. this never would have happened if Zimmerman had just stayed in his car. And today I lost count of how many times de la Rionda used the term "common sense" He used it more than "law", or "reasonable doubt" or "proof".  And by doing this, de la Rionda was, very subtly, invited the jury to convict Zimmerman on something other than the law. And they're not supposed to do that.

          What juries actually end up doing, on the other hand, is sometimes different, and it's this "common sense" reasoning the state is probably counting on for at least a compromise verdict.

          Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

          by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:04:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Depends on what the meaning of 'is', 'is', right? (9+ / 0-)

            This is a real case with a dead teenager not a law school class.
            The jury need to determine who is guilty.

            •  No, the jury needs to determine if the State has (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pi Li, davidinmaine

              proven Zimmerman is guilty.  In thinking that the jury has to know at the end of the case what happened assumes that the truth can be found and proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  Many times it can't.  And if it can't our law demands that no one be found guilty.

              "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

              by stellaluna on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:58:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're right, of course (4+ / 0-)
                And if it can't our law demands that no one be found guilty.
                But that's the tricky part of this case, isn't it. I think one of the things working against Zimmerman is that, well, he actually did kill Martin.

                Criminal trials are all about assigning blame. The state has given the jury George Zimmerman, no one else. He admits to killing Martin, but is claiming self defence, fair enough. But in a case like this with no real witnesses to the actual event, when a defendant says "I didn't do it, I wasn't there", at least then when the jury finds reasonable doubt, they can assuage any remorse that they might feel for not holding anyone responsible for the victim's death by telling themselves that the police will eventually find the real culprit. But in this case, if they let Zimmerman walk, that's it...no one will ever be held responsible for the death of this kid.

                And juries don't like that...which is why the manslaughter instruction is so dangerous for this defendant. It gives the jury an "out" to hold Zimmerman responsible without convicting him of murder.

                Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:45:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I completely agree. It never fails to amaze me (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li, VClib, davidinmaine

                  how many potential jurors during voir dire express the thought that you will automatically have to be punished if you killed someone.  Even though they accept the defense of self-defense in theory, they can't get around the feeling that you should still be held responsible if you kill someone.  The most extreme version of that is in a capital case when the potential juror says that he would not impose the death penalty in all cases, for instance, he wouldn't impose the death penalty if it was self-defense.  Sometimes makes me want to scream.

                  "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                  by stellaluna on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:50:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PorridgeGun
                  I think one of the things working against Zimmerman is that, well, he actually did kill Martin.

                  Yeah, isn't that just awful?  The guy's on trial for murder and manslaughter, and people are holding it against him that he actually killed the victim.  It's downright cruel.

                  "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                  by FogCityJohn on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:51:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  If the jury believes beyond a reasonable doubt... (6+ / 0-)

            that GZ could not reasonably have been in fear for his life or great bodily injury at the time he shot Trayvon, would they be following the law by convicting him?

            Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

            by Ian S on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:15:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Horsepoop so the 'fear' of Zimbo justifies killing (12+ / 0-)

              a teenage kid? There is no limit to Zimmerman's imaginary
              fears.

              •  thus, the problem with SRG laws in nutshell (7+ / 0-)

                relies on the "feelings" of the shooter/murderer.
                It is insane when you look at it that way, no?

              •  If the jury feels the fear was reasonable then (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                they'll acquit him.

                Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

                by thestructureguy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:58:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So if I am followed home in the dark I can't (5+ / 0-)

                  fight back or my aggressor is free to kill me. I should just lay there and let the aggressor do whatever he wants to me or he is with in his rights to shoot me because he has a gun and I don't???? What Crappola. Martin never stalked Zimbo. Martin was afraid, with good reason of the intent of the person following him who decided to shoot him.

                  Wow this is a law made for those who want to shoot someone to find out how it feels to kill. If they like it they can go creep out people until the person gets so frightened they turn on the gun holder at which time he can shoot them.

                  Anyone want to date a Zimbozo? Maybe he would get frightened if his date fought off his assault, at which time he pulls his gun and kills her for daring to resist someone who does not have the right to insist on anything.

                  Fear is the Mind Killer...

                  by boophus on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:07:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You can't "fight back" if (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pi Li, VClib

                    the person following you has not used or threatened actual force.  Here's  the case that was used today for that principle.  You cannot legally use force against someone unless they use or threaten force against you.

                    If I am walking down a deserted street at night, and some "creepy" man looks like he is following me, and he catches up to me and says, "what are you doing here?" I cannot legally hit him.  If I do, I have committed battery.  I can run away, I can scream, etc., but I cannot use force against him if he has not used, or threatened, force against me.

                    Now, if he is following me, and he catches up to me and points a gun at me, or holds up a baseball bat and tries to swing it at me, or even swings an arm like in a punch, those are all a threat of actual force and those all would justify my using force to defend myself.  

                    •  Just touching them is battery (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      boophus

                      If Zimmerman touched or impeded Martin's journey in any way, that is grounds for Martin to defend himself. But we'll never know that will we?

                      --United Citizens defeated Citizens United...This time. --

                      by chipoliwog on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 02:54:20 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I would not characterize 'fight back' as reacting (0+ / 0-)

                      to being followed. I characterize it as fighting as hard as I can if they grab a hold on me. Fighting as hard as I have to get clear and away. Of course as a woman or a child, once they have a hold on me that could get pretty out of control.

                      Basically what you are saying is that you have to wait for a stalker to actually get a hand on you in which case for many it is too late. Especially if that person is armed.  

                      As far as swinging a bat or an arm... the creep kills you and can go on to kill again since you can not testify what he was doing. How can one stand their ground if they are pursuing another and then use the others resistance to their assumed authority as an excuse to kill them. So pursuit is just fine and dandy if no one is left alive to counter  their stories.  

                      Fear is the Mind Killer...

                      by boophus on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 09:11:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Yes (12+ / 0-)

              If, in evaluating all the evidence, the jury concludes that it was not reasonable for Zimmerman to fear for his life, they would certainly be justified in returning a conviction.

              On the other hand, if they believe Zimmerman reasonably feared for his life in shooting Martin, and acquit him of murder two, but return a compromise verdict of manslaughter just to "split the baby" and hold someone responsible, that would NOT be following the law, because if they believe the shooting was justified via self-defence, it covers both self-defence and manslaughter. (Without getting into the weeds too much on this, there is a concept of "imperfect" self defence that for a variety of reasons I don't think is applicable here).

              Again, juries do sometimes return these compromise verdict, which is exactly why prosecutor's overcharge and why manslaughter is included in the instructions.

              Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

              by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:25:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Would a theoretical jury believe the fear of Georg (5+ / 0-)

                Zimmerman?  They might, but they would conclude that it did not justify the killing of an unarmed teenager he was stalking.
                Why? Because that 'fear' is NUTS.

              •  I don't understand something (10+ / 0-)

                Let's say someone actually does walk up to me, and intentionally provoke me into a fight, perhaps by actually hitting me first. And we have all this on video, and audio, so it is perfectly recorded.

                That's assault (and battery).

                But if I then hit him hard enough that he fears for his life, then can he really claim self-defense if he pulls out a gun and shoots me?

                That seems hard to believe, but it is the interpretation of the law that I keep hearing from a number of people.

                •  Under current law, maybe, sadly. (0+ / 0-)

                  “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

                  by jeff in nyc on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:50:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Can superior punching power (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  k9disc, Sychotic1

                  Be considered an escalation of violence?

                •  No I don't think so and this is why... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bobatkinson

                  GZ is taking great pains - even apparently lying - to ensure his killing of Trayvon is treated as self defense. It is not what happened when he got out of the SUV and started following Trayvon, rather it's what happened in the actual confrontation that eventually occurred. If GZ threw the first punch or if he made an aggressive attempt to restrain Trayvon and Trayvon reacted by punching back then GZ would no longer be able to claim self defense. IANAL of course.

                  Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

                  by Ian S on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:14:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  They aren't stating the law right (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  emsprater, doroma, bobatkinson

                  There are several parts of missing. With  provocation, for example, there is still a duty to retreat.

                •  If I understand the lawyers, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tommy Aces, bobatkinson

                  you'd be considered in the wrong unless he actually used or threatened physical force.

                  If this is correct, then it would be legal to go up to a knot of AA youth, shout "How do you get a n*** out of a tree?" and "Your mother's so fat I had to roll her in flour and look for a wet spot before I could f*** her!", wait for them to attack, and use lethal force in "self defense". This would strike me as unjust.

                  Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

                  by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:22:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Is provoking an attack (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bobatkinson

                    with words anything like a woman provoking rape with clothing?

                    Boy, you guys really have some self-control issues.

                  •  Not exactly. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    stellaluna, VClib
                    wait for them to attack, and use lethal force in "self defense
                    Whatever horrible names someone calls you, that does not legally entitle you to respond with force.  Read the Gibbs case.

                    If by "attack," all they did is punch you once and run away, then you can't run after them to "defend" yourself.  Self defense is actions taken to prevent future injury to yoursel.  If they hit you once and run away, you call the police and file a complaint.  Self-defense is not the same as retribution.  

                    If what they do in response to your name-calling is physical force but not sufficient to put you in reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm (say, just pushing and shoving, maybe pushing you down) you can use equivalent force, but not lethal force.  

                    •  Does "reasonable and prudent" come in anywhere? (0+ / 0-)

                      The provocateur in my example is not being reasonable and prudent, and neither was GZ. Does that not count for anything?

                      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

                      by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:16:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The only place you have to be "reasonable" (0+ / 0-)

                        is in your "reasonable" belief that you face imminent death or great bodily harm.

                        The self-defense statute does not say that you have to act reasonably in getting yourself into a situation like where you then have a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm.  

                        Think about it.  People do stupid things a lot, but that does not mean they give up the right to act in self-defense if someone attacks them for acting stupidly, but legally.  

                •  Fred - in Florida the fact that the other guy (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li

                  threw the first punch puts him in more legal jeopardy, the case is Gibbs v State.  

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:48:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Can you talk about "reckless disregard"? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tommy Aces, LilithGardener

                Do I understand correctly that "reckless" has a legal meaning different from the everyday one? Does Zimmerman's negligence rise to the level of recklessness?

                Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

                by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:18:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Would that make it open to appeal? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical

                Namely, believing the self-defense argument but still returning manslaughter?  Or would that much detail in their decision not be included in their verdict?

              •  I thought they added manslaughter (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Adam B, bobatkinson, PorridgeGun

                because if the jury doesn't buy into the malice, etc necessary to convict on murder 2 but they DO believe he overreacted to being punched in the nose and shooting an unarmed teenager in the chest, they can still convict.

                Not a lawyer, so all of this is not so easy to understand.

                •  Nobody - yes they added manslaughter (0+ / 0-)

                  as a lesser and included charge. However, if the jury believes that Zimmerman acted in self defense they will acquit on manslaughter as well.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:53:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The jury can do whatever they want. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tommy Aces
          •  Do you think he did this on purpose, (0+ / 0-)

            knowing that he may not have had a good "reasonable doubt" argument?

            The most violent element in society is ignorance.

            by Mr MadAsHell on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:20:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I find that doubtful (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, Be Skeptical

              Calling the police to the scene and then provoking a fight is not wise, since you don't really know how things will end up.  They might even catch you in the act.

              And it's especially not wise in a country where so many people carry handguns.  Even if he has his own gun, there's still a good chance that he gets shot.

              •  Actually, (0+ / 0-)

                my question had more to do with whether the prosecutor was stressing the "common sense" argument because his "reasonable doubt" argument wasn't as strong.

                The most violent element in society is ignorance.

                by Mr MadAsHell on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:28:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Now that is rational. (0+ / 0-)

                But there is plenty of other evidence (not at the trial) that GZ was a wanna' be cop with a capacity to violently over-react when he thought he was doing his job (as a bouncer he slammed a female patron up against a wall so hard he got fired for it). There is evidence in the trial re his grades and training that he understood some things about use of force and SYG self defense law.

                "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                by LilithGardener on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:46:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I think GZ wanted to effect (6+ / 0-)

              a "citizen's arrest" and very intentionally went running after TM, because he had his gun and he wanted to impress the police with his "successful" assistance.

              I think he wanted to be THE ONE who got profiled in the paper as a hero, for having helped the police catch the fucking punk that had been burglarizing their gated community.

              After the shooting, he is so confident that he holsters his gun and paces around. He wanted so much to be a part of the police team that he lied and said he stretched out TMs arms and searched him for a gun. (Never mind that rearranging the crime scene would have been tampering with the evidence. He was THAT deluded in his entitlement.)

              When the police arrived, TMs body was face down with his hands underneath.

              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:41:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The State has to show ill-will, hate, spite. (4+ / 0-)

            By showing that Z followed Trayvon, and was concerned about him getting away, indicates ill-will, etc.

          •  It's not necessarily an absolute requirement (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joeff, Pi Li, LilithGardener, HappyinNM, VClib

            to substitute common sense for the law. For the members of the jury, that is.

            The judge and officers if the court are absolutely required to follow the law and procedures, of course.

            I think nearly every judge issues strict instructions about what the jury "must" do. Except there isn't an absolute "must".

            There are consequences for failing to follow the law, of course. Not so much for the jury, though. No judge would be kind about this. But few judges have the guts to throw out a bogus verdict or declare a mistrial.

            Fortunately, those chosen to serve on a jury generally take their responsibility seriously and understand the instructions and the  importance of following the law.

            I think you're right about the state depending on common sense and emotional appeals. And I think it's not a bad strategy for a jury trial. It would certainly not fly in a non-jury trial.

            Yet we still can't predict a verdict.

            "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

            by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:34:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is a hard case. (7+ / 0-)

              Nobody knows exactly what happened except Z. Z has studied criminal law, and knows how to frame his description of what happened to fit nicely into a claim of self-defense. We have an ear witness to what Trayvon was doing in the form of his phone partner, Rachel Jeantel. We have several eye witnesses, all who only saw a little of what happened. Many admitted that it was too dark to be sure what they saw. And nobody claims to have seen the shooting. So all the State could do was create a timeline based on when phone calls began and stopped. They have forensic evidence which doesn't jibe with Z's story. And they have numerous accounts from Z, most of which don't fit the timeline or the forensics.

          •  How do you stop a jury (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HappyinNM, Tommy Aces

            from exercising its "common sense" if it has been properly instructed?  Ultimately it's up to the jury to weigh the evidence and to follow the court's instructions as it understands them.  That's why there is a high proof threshold (beyond a reasonable doubt) and a unanimity requirement for criminal convictions.  

            •  As I said (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              basket, VClib, andalusi

              It's OK for the jurors to use their common sense in evaluating the evidence and testimony. We want them to do that.

              But with regards to the law that the judge instructs them on, they must apply the facts to that law...and follow the law, in reaching a verdict.

              The good news is, the vast majority of jurors do this, and take their responsibility very seriously.

              Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

              by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:58:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  They've convicted people on far less than that (0+ / 0-)

              They convicted an obviously creepy guy in California on killing his wife and unborn fetus on entirely circumstantial evidence. The jury even gave him the death penalty.

              I wasn't real comfortable with that verdict. Ya, he probably did it but didn't pass the beyond a reasonable doubt threshold for me.

              As for Zimmerman, there is far more evidence of his crime here than in the circumstances in the California case.

               

              --United Citizens defeated Citizens United...This time. --

              by chipoliwog on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 03:00:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, no (13+ / 0-)
            And today I lost count of how many times de la Rionda used the term "common sense" He used it more than "law", or "reasonable doubt" or "proof".  And by doing this, de la Rionda was, very subtly, invited the jury to convict Zimmerman on something other than the law. And they're not supposed to do that.
            The prosecutor was just asking jurors to use their common sense to evaluate Zimmerman's credibility, and it did so by pointing to the many holes in his story.  There's absolutely nothing improper about that, at least not in an American courtroom.  I can't speak for how you do things in Australia.

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:43:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And by questioning his credibility, they (6+ / 0-)

              are making the argument that one is not required to believe his self defense excuse in the case

              The "common sense" part to me was really about the impossibility or improbability of many of the defendant's claims.

              But-for those claims, one is not required to decide on an acquittal simply because experts claim something else may have been possible. If those things were possible, why didn't the defendant say them rather than what he said?

              •  Yep. (19+ / 0-)

                The jury doesn't have to believe Zimmerman's story, a story that frankly strikes me as pretty incredible.  If they don't buy it, then his whole self-defense rationalization collapses.

                What a lot of people are losing sight of here is that there's no dispute that Zimmerman shot Martin to death.  There's also no dispute that Zimmerman had a gun and that Martin was unarmed.  There are recordings proving that Zimmerman chose to follow Martin around the neighborhood and that he thought the kid was an "asshole" and somehow up to no good.  Zimmerman refused to take the dispatcher's advice and continued to follow Martin and then got out of his car to confront him.

                It's really hard for me to see how you claim self-defense on those facts (and the others), but then, some people will believe anything.

                "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                by FogCityJohn on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:58:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Super human black thug defense (12+ / 0-)

                  The reason why the defense doesn't quite work for you once is because you realized the defendant's claims are incredible, at best, and out and out lies in many cases.

                  Once you decide that, the rest should be easy.

                  Except for America's race problem.

                  Part of that is that blacks have super human powers to survive high levels of pain (Rodney King) and engage in things that requires both great strength, multiple limbs (or at least telekinetic powers, etc.

                  That's what clouds the judgment, even amongst the liberals.. Race is a part of their calculus, but they will deny it to their denying breath.

                  If this were a white teen, and a black male of the same age, there wouldn't have been a dispute. Everyone knows that, and yet, when I said it, some folks, chimed in a diary I wrote swearing "we can't be sure of that" Of course the stats says I am right, but "we can't be sure."

                  I could see if the defendant's claims were credible, but when you got people claming his story is consistent because "at the end after all the  other lies he told" i may be that it was in fear for his life, you just got to realize how powerful race is because no blood evidence, No DNA, no wounds, but its credible because some experts say its possible that magically blood remained on Zimmerman in the rain without remaining on the victim. Yeah, and if the defendant wasn't a liar, that may be a benefit I am willing to consider. But under the circumstances, with all the other evidence, its unreasonable.

                  •  That's not a fair comparison (0+ / 0-)

                    Zimmerman is as white as Obama.  He is half native American and half white.  He doesn't even remotely look white.  And that goes beyond his color.  Look at his features.

                    But many people here, like yourself, label him as white because you can't accept that "brown" people can be racist.  That "brown" people can hold the same knee-jerk views towards young black males as whites do.  

                    Here's a shocker - a lot of Haitians in Florida have similar attitudes towards AAs.

                    This has everything to do with Trayvon being black, but it has nothing to do with Zimmerman being white - because he's not.

                    If Trayvon were white, this incident probably would never have happened.

                    But it didn't happen because Zimmerman was white.  Because he isn't.

                    •  The racialization of this case (4+ / 0-)

                      has nothing to do with Zimmerman

                      It has to do with where black people are supposed to be in terms of racialization of space. The feeling that the victim was out of place. Hence why I focused on the victim, not the defendant.

                      The interesting thing here is your complete ignorance of how race has worked in America. It has never been a static concept.

                      The same dynamic is playing as far as guns. It has little if anything to do with Zimmerman . It has to do with gun nuts feeling "why shouldn't we have the right to go around shooting people with guns with safety off"

                      If you ever take a tour of some popular sites, especially ones not focus on Democratic politics, you see a more frank, and disturbing discussion of race and guns

                  •  The reflexive support for Zimmerman . . . (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sukeyna, PorridgeGun, chipoliwog

                    is really all about race.  His story really doesn't hold up, yet people here are all too willing to believe it because of the race of his victim.  Zimmerman is presumed to have had a justifiable fear for his safety because, well, he was dealing with a young black man, and you know how they are.

                    It's the sad reality of this country, but race plays the central role in all cases like this.

                    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                    by FogCityJohn on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:04:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ITs a bit worse when dealing (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      FogCityJohn

                      with liberals on the subject of race because they have learned how to bury these views they hold  on race under a veneer of reasonableness

                      You will note the game being played here- hiking the burden the prosecution has, requiring more evidence than is required in many cases in the Fl and the U.S. etc

                      Its all part of the game of denial that "I believe the defendant because the victim was black"

                      There's nothing deep to this or complicated

                      As a black man who happens to be a lawyer, its one of the reasons their comments anger me

                      They are so obviously from a legal stand point distorting what the law requires

                      eg, how anyone can argue with a straight face, if the prosecution proves Zimmmerman to be a liar that is not a basis for convicting him since his defense depends on believing him about what happned that night is beyond me. But here they are arguing that anyway. it takes a special kind of race denial to do that. And these are "liberals"

                •  oh I forgot the other (6+ / 0-)

                  ele3ment of superhuman black thug defense

                  black = up to something

                •  I think that's the common sense a jury is supposed (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tommy Aces

                  to employ when evaluating a case - regardless of the laws being adjudicated.

                  Right? Isn't that part of the point of a jury trial?

                  Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                  by k9disc on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:12:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Ugh (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mumtaznepal, VClib, Catesby, Edge PA

              I went to law school in America. I practiced law in America. In American courtrooms. As a prosecutor.

              And when de la Rionda implies that Zimmerman is legally responsible for the death of Martin because he "profiled" and "followed" him, and invites them to use their "common sense" to reach that conclusion, he's inviting them to reach a verdict on something other than the law.

              On the other hand, it's perfectly proper, and I said multiple times in this thread, for jurors to use their common sense to evaluate the evidence and testimony.

              The jurors are the triers of fact, not law. Even in America.

              Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

              by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:03:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was talking to my girlfriend (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bobatkinson

                about this case today.  She is not only white, she is blonde, from PA but has lived in Florida for 30 years, and a CC holder.

                And she was so confused she said that legally CC holders are not allowed to follow people suspected of property crime while they are armed.

                I have sent her on the hunt for that law.

                And she's not particularly stupid - although I would question the advisability of a CC license.

              •  I don't know what the jury instruction for (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pi Li

                proof beyond a reasonable doubt is in FL but in NC it includes the language that "a reasonable doubt is a doubt based on reason and common sense".  So if FL is similar he could be repeating that phrase for simply that reason instead of promoting some sort of jury nullification.  But you are probably most likely correct because they don't really have a theory of the case that they are claiming they have proved BRD.  Instead they are claiming the defense hasn't proven self-defense BRD.  Which isn't of course, the defense burden.

                "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                by stellaluna on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:08:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Since you asked... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  stellaluna, VClib, Edge PA

                  ...here's the instruction.  I've highlighted the sections that seem to be confusing some people. :)

                  3.7 PLEA OF NOT GUILTY; REASONABLE DOUBT;
                  AND BURDEN OF PROOF

                      The defendant has entered a plea of not guilty. This means you must presume or believe the defendant is innocent. The presumption stays with the defendant as to each material allegation in the [information] [indictment] through each stage of the trial unless it has been overcome by the evidence to the exclusion of and beyond a reasonable doubt.

                      To overcome the defendant's presumption of innocence, the State has the burden of proving the crime with which the defendant is charged was committed and the defendant is the person who committed the crime.

                      The defendant is not required to present evidence or prove anything.

                      Whenever the words "reasonable doubt" are used you must consider the following:

                  A reasonable doubt is not a mere possible doubt, a speculative, imaginary or forced doubt. Such a doubt must not influence you to return a verdict of not guilty if you have an abiding conviction of guilt. On the other hand, if, after carefully considering, comparing and weighing all the evidence, there is not an abiding conviction of guilt, or, if, having a conviction, it is one which is not stable but one which wavers and vacillates, then the charge is not proved beyond every reasonable doubt and you must find the defendant not guilty because the doubt is reasonable.

                  It is to the evidence introduced in this trial, and to it alone, that you are to look for that proof.

                  A reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant may arise from the evidence, conflict in the evidence, or the lack of evidence.

                  If you have a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty. If you have no reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty.

                  Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                  by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:53:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe I'm just used to something different but (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pi Li

                    I think this instruction is hard to follow.  In NC our instruction is much better for the defense.  The jury is told that a reasonable doubt is a doubt based on reason and common sense.  That it isn't a "vain or fanciful" doubt and that to find someone guilty BRD you must be "fully satisfied" and "entirely convinced" of their guilt.  "Fully satisfied and entirely convinced" is good language for the defense in my opinion.

                    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                    by stellaluna on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:16:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      VClib

                      I've always thought the Florida instruction was a bit pro-state. I'm thinking of this lanaguage in particular:

                      A reasonable doubt is not a mere possible doubt, a speculative, imaginary or forced doubt. Such a doubt must not influence you to return a verdict of not guilty if you have an abiding conviction of guilt
                      I don't know. If I were a juror I'm not sure how much guidance this would give me.

                      Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                      by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:21:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Ugh (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rhetoricus, sukeyna, PorridgeGun

                Most of the "facts" that are in evidence about the time of the shooting (which is the most critical time here) is from Zimmerman's testimony from interviews, the walk-through and his conversations with friends.

                The prosecutor is pointing out all of the inconsistencies Zimmerman's statements and how unbelievable some of his statements are.   He's asking for the jurors to use their common sense in evaluating Zimmerman's statements and if they don't believe him then they probably won't believe he was justified in shooting Martin.

                I believe the "profiled" and "following" comments along with the "a**hole" and "f'ing punks" comments are to show Zimmerman's state of mind towards Martin.   Even though they didn't know each other which would normally be required for him to have ill will towards Martin, they are showing that he had profiled Martin as one of the "f'ing punks" who burglarize our community and always get away.

                I also liked that he mentioned how Zimmerman after shooting Martin and fatally injuring him he holstered his weapon and made no effort to get him help.   If he had no ill will towards Martin why didn't he yell for help for him after he shot him?

                The defense is getting a lot of credit they don't deserve.   I think the Hannity interview was some of the most damaging testimony and cannot fathom why the attorneys let him do it.

              •  Um (0+ / 0-)

                There's no question that Zimmerman is responsible for Martin's death.  He shot and killed the kid.  That's not in dispute.  The only issue here is Zimmerman's claim of self-defense.

                The jury is entitled to draw inferences from Zimmerman's behavior and his words.  I don't see how the prosecution is inviting the jury to reach a verdict on anything other than the law.  

                In any event, I'm not going to belabor this point.  We're not going to convince each other, so I think this is becoming a waste of pixels.

                "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                by FogCityJohn on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:41:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Marissa Alexander was hung out to dry (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emsprater, rhetoricus, PorridgeGun

            A FL judge ruled that since she had broken contact she had lost self-defense privilege by going back into her house.

            How is GZ legally less culpable?

            Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

            by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:08:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I thought juries were... (0+ / 0-)

          ...not so much for "common sense" but more for the feelings and morality of the community since a lot of cases are not just something black and white, but involving values instead.

      •  Serious query: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JoanMar

        I know you are from AU, live in the UK, studied in MI (if I recall correctly) and travel to 'teach'.

        How much time have you actually spent in a courtroom in Florida?  Are you on the list of attorneys allowed by the Florida Bar to practice in the state?

        Nothing changes without public pressure: public pressure doesn't happen without dissemination of knowledge and 'true' facts. Bit me FOX.

        by emsprater on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:59:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

          •  You're lying. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Patate, VClib, stellaluna

            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

            by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:04:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So are you saying that you have spent (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emsprater, doroma, JoanMar, Tommy Aces

              time in Florida courtrooms and are on the list of attorneys allowed to practice law in Florida? This, also, is a serious question. Please answer.

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

              by rubyr on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:07:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here's your serious answer (9+ / 0-)

                In another post I've published about as much of my CV as I'm willing to here. I don't recall seeing anyone else grilled on their professional qualifications in the short time I've been here.

                I think my posts speak for themselves. As they say in court, you a free to believe, or disbelieve, or just ignore, any or all of what I say here.  

                Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:17:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'll accept that as a 'No'. (7+ / 0-)

                  Your reply is the absolute best legalese example of how to avoid answering a direct question because the answer would not serve you well.

                  Nothing changes without public pressure: public pressure doesn't happen without dissemination of knowledge and 'true' facts. Bit me FOX.

                  by emsprater on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:20:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  really? since when do we ever insist on RW (8+ / 0-)

                    life and experience be laid out for us to examine?

                    You realize that isn't the way this site has ever worked.

                    Lets not play games just because you don't like to hear the truth...

                    The Prosecution has done a terrible job and I am not a Lawyer unlike Pi Li but it's obvious to me even.  

                    It is on the Prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead they put up a dozen possible scenarios leaving doubt as to which is the real one.

                    that is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

                    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                    Emiliano Zapata

                    by buddabelly on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:49:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I told you last night how much I appreciate your (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li, VClib, davidinmaine, andalusi, Edge PA

                  comments on this subject.  While other people seem not to be able to see from the quality of your comments that you know what you are talking about I can clearly see it.  I also think any attorney with significant criminal trial experience could see it as well.

                  "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                  by stellaluna on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:16:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    stellaluna, VClib, andalusi, Edge PA

                    I've really enjoyed your comments on here as well. And you know what, anyone is free to accept or disregard anything any of us have to say. I'm interested in talking about the legal aspects of this case, and not really trying to "convince" anyone of anything.

                    Anyway, thanks again for the nice words. :)

                    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                    by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:05:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Me too. I enjoy talking about the aspects of the (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Pi Li, VClib, Demeter Rising

                      case and the law.  And MB's diaries seem to get the best discussions about that.  I'm not trying to convince anyone, even myself.  I think it's fascinating to see how, even on this site, the prejudices each person carries around makes them unwilling or unable to listen to and follow the law.  And yet most of them would tell you that they are "fair" people.

                      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                      by stellaluna on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:10:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Just a p.s., even though I'm inserting myself (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Pi Li, stellaluna, VClib

                        here -- I've really appreciated all of the legal eagles' opinions around here. I've learned tons as I've watched the trial, and seeing you all comment is very enlightening. :)

                      •  Yeah (5+ / 0-)

                        Part of what's partially disturbed me during this ongoing conversation about this trial is the seeming willingness of people, who I presume to be liberal and most times pay at least lip service to things like due process, reasonable doubt and presumption of innocence, seem to be so willing to set it all aside for defendants they dislike. I have my own issues with how Zimmerman behaved that night and the choices he made, but that doesn't change how I analyse the legal aspects of this case.

                        I guess we can all be grateful that the state didn't charge Zimmerman with first degree murder...imagine all the explaining people would have to do on why they've temporarily suspended their opposition to the death penalty.

                        Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                        by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:17:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I probably shouldn't even introduce these names (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Pi Li

                          but I think we've seen similar things happen in discussions about Bradley Manning and Julian Assange.

                          "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                          by stellaluna on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:21:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  My first comment about this case (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Pi Li

                          When I watch or read the highlights I think ...

                          How can they NOT convict him.

                          When I read comments like your (which I highly value) ...

                          I think no way they convict them.

                          When I reflect away from outside inputs ...

                          I think there is a boy dead because of the foreseeable consquences of a guy with a gun.

                          If I were on the jury (freely admiting I haven't heard everything ... ) I don't see how I don't say gulity of manslaughrer.

                          (I don't think they have Murder 2.  Haven't proved malice.)

                          Thank you

                          I am a statistician, not a magician although we are easily confused. I guess that explains why people keep trying to tie me in chains and place me under water.

                          by Edge PA on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:52:39 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)
                            I think no way they convict them
                            I'm not sure I agree that there's no way he gets convicted, especially when a compromise verdict is a very real possibility. But you highlight an important distinction between whether someone is truly innocent, or whether the state has just been unable to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
                            I think there is a boy dead because of the foreseeable consquences of a guy with a gun.
                            Yeah. Whatever the verdict, whether the state has proven their case or not, George Zimmerman is not "innocent".  You can't escape the fact that had he just stayed in his car and waited for the police arrive, Martin would still be alive. He's going to have to live with that no matter what.

                            Thanks again for the words about my comments, I appreciate it.

                            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                            by Pi Li on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:29:41 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Although... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...if (with the focus on if) everything Zimmerman said is correct and complete, he didn't break any laws.

                            Zimmerman obviously could have avoided the conflict, but so could have Martin by simply going "home" or by not hitting Zimmerman.

                            In Zimmerman's version, I hold Martin much more culpable than Zimmerman. The first person to break a law was Martin when he hit Zimmerman without provocation and that is what turned the situation violent. Zimmerman is, at worst, guilty of having less than perfect judgement. But, I'm sure his judgement was no worse than most of us have exercised in various situations in our life. However, most of us, I'd wager, have never attacked an adult, and continued that attack with force that could clearly cause great bodily injury or death, without provocation. (I'm excluding stuff that we may have done in anger to a classmate or playmate in grade school that was actually dangerous but we didn't realize it yet)

                            I am confident (or at least hopeful) that if a clear video w/good sound of the entire event was suddenly revealed and it substantially confirmed Zimmerman's account, folks here wouldn't be debating Zimmerman's guilt at all. Perhaps there would be a discussion, but it might be about Florida law (as it was, in part, in the early rush to uninformed judgement here that Zimmerman would take advantage of SYG because that was all he could claim), CCW, and/or Neighborhood Watch.

                        •  I've seen examples of this (0+ / 0-)
                          imagine all the explaining people would have to do on why they've temporarily suspended their opposition to the death penalty.
                          I saw one post who that Zimmerman deserved the dp and that person was a member of the abolish the DP group. Many of those arguing so passionately that Zimmerman belongs in prison have no doubt rec'ed up diaries here about how the "Prison industrial complex" needs to be shut down and how we need to have alternative sentencing, even for murder.  
                •  Well, you called bruh a liar. The only way he (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  emsprater

                  could be a liar is if you did, indeed, spend time in Florida
                  courtrooms and are, indeed, on the list of attorneys allowed to practice law in Florida. If not, bruh is not a liar and you should not have called him a liar. Period.  

                  Surely, your top notch superior legal mind can grasp this.

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

                  by rubyr on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:17:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  To place yourr claims into context (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bobatkinson

              as between the two of us, you supported a lie by coffee talk about me.

              I will leave it to others to decide which of the two of us is telling the truth

            •  How clever. (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doroma, bobatkinson, bruh1, JoanMar, bluezen

              You can toss out authoritative-sounding legal arguments whenever it suits you so that nobody will fail to realize that you're an attorney, and you can also sling fact-free retorts like a commoner. Such versatility.

              •  Pretty impressive, huh? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sordiddetails, VClib, stellaluna, Edge PA

                Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:29:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •   Be afraid! Lady lawyer can always sue you! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tommy Aces
                •  Not be a lawyer, but no she can't n/t (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tommy Aces
                •  Hard to imagine why women often don't reveal their (11+ / 0-)

                  gender here, isn't it?

                  •  Nice change of subject, Care to explain (0+ / 0-)

                    why her gender matters with regard to practicing law in Florida or not?

                    •  Care to defend "Lady Lawyer" used (10+ / 0-)

                      as an insult? Or do you want to leave that to the person who hurled it?

                      I'm not involved in the rest of your multiweek pie fight. However, I have said elsewhere that these personality driven exchanges are not productive. In this particular sub sub thread, the demand for a commenter to prove her bona fides are obnoxious and contrary to the general site ethos. It's like we need our own jury charge -- if you don't find the commenter's comments persuasive, or you think she's lied elsewhere (a common allegation of yours), you are free to disregard the rest of her comments.

                      As the tension ramps up in this case, this stuff has the potential to do far more harm than good to the community if some people don't knock it off. And I am not one of those who say there are no Zimmerman defenders, although I believe several people have been incorrectly put in that class. Given that they are more than capable of defending themselves, I've found no need to weigh in for the most part. It appears to be their ability to defend themselves that annoys those who are not similarly equipped. (I don't put you in that category either.)

                      I have not engaged much substantively after the immediate calls for a prosecution, because I have not been able to follow closely either the pretrial development of evidence or the trial itself. Feel free to put me in whatever little camp you like.

                      •  You aren't worth that effort (0+ / 0-)

                        Just a lot of defensive posturing and then trying control the conversation. You aren't interested, but you speak of a multi week pie fight

                        That's the mind set of this site in a nut shell

                        None of this is real to you

                        Whethers the NSA or this or any other issue that people care about

                        For you, its a pie fight

                        •  Well, you're worth the effort to me, (10+ / 0-)

                          because you've invested a lot of time and thought in your contributions in the diaries on this case.

                          Who said I wasn't interested? I said I wasn't involved. I've been interested enough to see you and coffeetalk, and later Pi Li, as well as others, having the same fight over and over and over again. I've been interested enough to see who takes delight in pointing out the weaknesses of the prosecution's case and who cringes in astonishment. I've seen who is unwilling to acknowledge that there are any weaknesses at all, so the prosecution must be deliberately throwing the case. I've seen "all we want is a prosecution and fair trial" morph into "convict him of murder or there's no justice." I've seen people whose natural inclination is to favor putting the state to its proof and providing an adequate defense completely change hats. It's nothing if not interesting around here.

                          Trayvon Martin's death is real to me. The lesser value placed on black victims than white ones is real to me. The pain of the many mothers here who post in anguish because they see their sons in Trayvon Martin is real to me. Even the pain of the Zimmerman family, however much I despise him, is real to me. The overwhelmingly crappy job done by many police departments in many communities is real to me. The failings of our "better than the alternative, usually, maybe" justice system have been real to me since before I joined it.

                          The fight you are having here with Pi Li? That is a piefight.

          •  bruh - how would you possibly know? (6+ / 0-)

            And why would you feel the need to answer in such a definitive manner a question that you could not know the answer to?

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:08:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  For the same reason that I can tell (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doroma

              you only like her arguments because they agree with you.

              •  Well its easy to like legal arguments (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pi Li, andalusi

                that are cogently written that agree with me. All the facts needed for that decision are there on my screen. None of us know who Pi Li is in real life or if the information she has shared about her background is true or not. We can all make some judgements about her legal skills by her comments, but the rest we can believe or not, but no one but Pi Li can be certain, including you.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:39:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Well (6+ / 0-)

          Not that it matters, but I was a prosecutor for many years, and now am a consultant in a completely different field of law. And I do live in the UK most of the year, but during most summers I teach trial advocacy in the US. If I'm not doing that I also occasionally teach courses at host Universities in Europe to American law students doing a summer abroad. And yes, I was born and raised in Australia, mate. :)

          Shall I publish my CV?

          Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

          by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:09:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yet still the question remains: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            doroma, JoanMar

            were your experiences in the courtroom in the state of Florida?  Are you 'on the Bar' here?

            Nothing changes without public pressure: public pressure doesn't happen without dissemination of knowledge and 'true' facts. Bit me FOX.

            by emsprater on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:13:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, we know. (7+ / 0-)

            Your spelling alone indicates you're not American.  If you want to claim you speak with some kind of authority, then you shouldn't be surprised when people ask you to back up your claim by telling them exactly what your experience is.  

            Personally, I have no idea why you're so reticent to answer a question like whether or not you're a member of the Florida bar.  The state has thousands and thousands of lawyers.  It's not like your membership is a piece of personally identifiable information that will out you to the folks here.

            Watch:  I'm admitted to the bar in California and the District of Columbia.

            See how easy that was?

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:41:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a question of relevance (7+ / 0-)
              If you want to claim you speak with some kind of authority, then you shouldn't be surprised when people ask you to back up your claim by telling them exactly what your experience is
              For one thing, the only "claims" about my professional qualifications have been what I've said here, and there's no way to "back up" those, or others, including saying whether I'm licensed in Florida or not. People can judge for themselves if they find my posts credible or not.

              I could be a Florida attorney who knows nothing about criminal law and procedure. Or a bad Florida lawyer. And everything I say here could be wrong.

              On the other hand, I could be a very good lawyer in another state and everything I say here could be right.

              Personally, I have no idea why you're so reticent to answer a question like whether or not you're a member of the Florida bar.
              So since it's the usual 2-3 haters asking me this question, I don't know, I'm just kinda assuming it's not in good faith. You see, if I say I'm not licensed in Florida, the answer will be "See, you're not licensed in Florida, you know nothing!" And if I say I am, the answer would be "Well, you're not a very good one".  And that will be the rejoinder from them with every post I make. In fact, that very thing has happened to another attorney on here opinion on this case.Perhaps if you had been called a "Zimmerman apologist" like several of us have here (including one of this site's front page lawyers) for discussing things like due process and burden of proof, you'd feel the same.

              So, not wanting to get sidetracked with all that, I think I'll keep my bar membership status to myself. You are free to publish the rest of your CV if you wish, however. :)

              Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

              by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:22:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It really was a serious question. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tommy Aces, doroma, bruh1

                You have continually implied 'superiority' when it comes to Florida Law over all that have the time to have discourse with you, particularly if they do not concur with you.

                I think the answer would be relevant as to whether those folks should either continue to pay attention to what you have to say as possibly credible or whether they should simply laugh every time they see your input.  I love a good laugh.

                Nothing changes without public pressure: public pressure doesn't happen without dissemination of knowledge and 'true' facts. Bit me FOX.

                by emsprater on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:32:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And you wonder why I don't reply? (4+ / 0-)

                  I rest my case.

                  Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                  by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:36:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Fear of the truth is not a defense. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    doroma, bruh1

                    And this is not a courtroom, so you have no 'case' to 'rest'.

                    Sorry.

                    Done with you now.  

                    Nothing changes without public pressure: public pressure doesn't happen without dissemination of knowledge and 'true' facts. Bit me FOX.

                    by emsprater on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:43:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  emsprater - when has Pi Li implied "superiority" (8+ / 0-)

                  She has written about Florida law as she sees it. Anyone can rebut it if they feel she is in error. I don't see where you find implied superiority. Trial lawyers make declarative statements, that's how they operate in an adversarial system. The sparring here at DKOS has given readers a much more comprehensive view of the Florida criminal law in this case than had it been all one-sided. Pi Li has helped correct a tremendous amount of misinformation has been echoing around the site, relative to this case.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:17:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm sure I am not the only one ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bruh1

                    to have come to that conclusion from reading her back and forth with other lawyers.  Perhaps they will also speak up.  I'm certainly not going to spend my time looking up 'references'  to prove something you have pre-determined does not exist.

                    Nothing changes without public pressure: public pressure doesn't happen without dissemination of knowledge and 'true' facts. Bit me FOX.

                    by emsprater on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:06:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  You either are or you aren't. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                emsprater

                You're either admitted in Florida or you're not.  Frankly, I still don't understand why it's such a big deal for you to admit you're not a Florida lawyer.  I'm not a member of that state's bar, and I don't see any reason to be coy about that.  

                From what I've read of your posts, it doesn't appear you're an American lawyer at all.  Which is obviously fine, but it does tend to affect the weight people will accord to what you post here.  When it comes to commentary about this case, I'd naturally be more interested in the views of someone who practiced criminal law in Florida than in the views of a corporate lawyer from New York.  

                I don't really need to publish my CV.  There are plenty of people on this site who have actually met me in person.  l've disclosed things that are a hell of a lot more personal than my bar membership status.  You're entitled to do what you like, but you'll forgive me if I fail to understand your need to be so mysterious.

                "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                by FogCityJohn on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:33:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Well obviously since this is the internet you are (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pi Li, VClib, Demeter Rising

          free to believe what you want.  But I think any attorney who has trial experience can immediately recognize that Pi Li clearly knows what she is talking about.  I have been a criminal trial attorney for 25 years and I can assure you that not only is her analysis spot on but her phraseology and use of technical terms clearly shows not only legal training but experience.  

          There is no need for her to explain herself to you.  If you don't agree with her analysis then look up the law yourself.  

          "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

          by stellaluna on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:13:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You do realize that Daily Kos is a predominantly a (15+ / 0-)

        left-leaning political site rather than a legal forum for crime buffs, right? Focusing exclusively on the minutiae of the trial while repeatedly dismissing the social justice implications of this tragic killing seems amoral at best.

        •  However, this is a diary about the trial, (11+ / 0-)

          and more precisely, the closing arguments. The likelihood of different outcomes is the subtext here, and that is obviously a social justice issue. Many, many words have been written on this site about the horror of this killing, and you are free to add more here if you like, but describing the legal ins and outs of the closing arguments is perfectly appropriate for this comment thread.

          We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
          Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

          by pixxer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:31:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Lost and Found - this is a diary about the trial (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          andalusi, Demeter Rising, Pi Li

          Over the past two weeks there has been an avalanche of misinformation, here at DKOS, regarding both the evidence presented and the applicable Florida criminal statutes. As a reality based site I think that those who know the facts have a duty to help the less informed understand what is really happening at this trial. While that is perceived by some, and maybe you, as not being sensitive to the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, is unfortunate. This was a heart breaking event for all the parties, but particularly the Martin family and their deceased son. However, we can't have diaries on this trial and just let completely false statements go unchallenged. I think nearly everyone who is making false statements is doing so because they lack knowledge of Florida criminal law and court policies and procedures, not out of an intent to misinform the readers. Nevertheless those misstatements must be challenged.

          There is a higher level debate among several lawyers on some technical aspects of a few very specific Florida laws. That's very different, and not what I am referring to at all.    

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:12:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And it will be up to the judge to explain the law (6+ / 0-)

        to the jurors.

        Interesting, I think, that a) Zimmerman chose not to testify and b) the jury asked for definition of lesser charges, like manslaughter.

        Thanks to whoever watched the trial and pulled that much meat out of the proceedings - MB? I would not have the time and have missed watching trials entirely in my longish life. Pity, but one has to make choices.

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

        by TerryDarc on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:13:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But didn't the prosecutor make their theory (4+ / 0-)

        perfectly clear?

        blah, blah, blah

        They fought.

        There are witnesses who saw them fighting.

        Don't get caught up with who was winning.

        Zimmerman proves he is lying so badly about what happened, because there are just so many stupid lies, that whatever he claims about his fear doesn't even matter.

        What you need to remember is that AFTER shooting TM, Zimmerman lied some more in ways that reveal his state of mind; his indifference to just having killed a man. "Despite obvious facts in evidence - aka the dead body on the ground - Zimmerman lied to police and told them he spread out TM's arms to check for weapons."

        The theory of the case is that Zimm had so much ill will and prejudice toward this kid walking home, and wanted soooo very badly to use his gun, and so very badly to been seen by the cops as competent neighborhood watchman, that he just made shit up - right after he shot and killed the kid.

        From A to Z killing the kid wasn't a mistake, and there is no evidence that Zimm ever thought it was a mistake, BECAUSE Zimm pursued TM with his gun AND felt justified shooting him at point blank range in the chest. So much so that he made up some fantasy cop claims despite the dead body lying right there on the ground.

        Am I not understanding your point?

        Their theory is that he had ill will, acted on his ill will, and shot Trayvon, and then just re-holstered his gun, then made up stupid shit to try and impress the police.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:04:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  An independent witness (0+ / 0-)

          said that Zimmerman asked him to help spreading his arms out.

          So in what way do you conclude this was a lie?

          •  I was not aware of that witness (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobatkinson

            - if you are correct, than I incorrectly thought Martin fell face down with his is hands under himself.

            - if Z asks a witness to help him move the arms, did the witness help him?

            - If yes, who placed the arms back on TM and rolled the body over?

            - how does Z justify tampering with the victim's body to such a great extent? Re-arranging the crime scene?

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:14:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. And it could work. (0+ / 0-)

        "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

        by New Jersey Boy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:19:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Probably have not won many jury trials (0+ / 0-)

        Have you?

    •  Sure you can. (12+ / 0-)

      The problem with situations like this is that they escalate.  Each side feels more danger to itself than it thinks it is presenting to the other. Each side can respond with what it perceives as proportionate force, while actually ratcheting up the violence of the confrontation.  If you ever seen a fist fight start, there's a 90% chance it started just that way.

      So somebody can well enter a situation with no intention of committing assault, then through no fault of the other guy end up killing that guy out of genuine fear for his own safety, which is why carrying a gun into an avoidable confrontation is just plain stupid.  This is the problem with the gun nut's paradise in which everyone is carrying concealed weapons and has the right to appoint himself deputy Angel of Justice.  Too many people have exactly the wrong reaction to being armed, because they mistakenly believe having a gun prepares them for a deadly confrontation. Trayvon Martin is the first fruits of many needless killings to come, in which stupid people ignorantly carry guns into situations that are way over their head.

      I know people here want Zimmerman convicted of second degree murder because he racially profiled Trayvon and therefore they think that Zimmerman must be some kind of uncommon racist monster. But that view of matters obscures the real problem.  Zimmerman profiled Trayvon not because Zimmerman was some kind of rare monster, but because he was a garden variety idiot -- an idiot typical of a whole bunch more idiots running around Florida with concealed handguns and delusions of grandeur.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:35:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And almost none of them seem to be aware (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Janet 707, Catesby, bobatkinson

        that judgment can quickly degrade just as soon as any condition isn't just perfect. People under stress can easily become disoriented.

        It's dark.
        It's raining.
        They have to run and their blood pressure shoots through the roof.
        etc.

        Conditions that do not favor clear thinking.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:15:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The judge has ruled that Zimmerman did not (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, stellaluna, Pi Li

      provoke the use of force against himself.  See my other comments, with links.  

      So, yes, he can claim self-defense.  

      •  Just a little quibble but I think the Judge ruled (0+ / 0-)

        that the State has not shown sufficient evidence that Zimmerman provoked the use of force against himself.  The Judge's decision should be seen as a reflection of that rather than a declarative statement by the judge that it did not happen.  Aside from that, I appreciate your links and your arguments.  I personally would like for Zimmerman to be found guilty because he represents everything I find that is reprehensible about the gun/police worshipping culture and just pure racism.  As a lawyer though I accept that my wishes show less character that I ought to have when wanting the rule of law to be applied fairly and equally.  With that said, I don't think the State had a great case to start with but I think they have done a bad job with what they had.  I don't think their weaknesses mean Zimmerman is truly innocent but I expect he will be found to be so.

        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

        by stellaluna on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:31:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ayjay - criminal law in Florida doesn't agree with (0+ / 0-)

      you. Under Florida law the "confrontation" started when the first punch was thrown. Zimmerman questioning Martin isn't an illegal  "confrontation" and in no way inhibits Zimmerman's self defense claim. If Zimmerman punched Martin first, or was threatening him with his gun, it would be different.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:49:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  weak case, weak closing (6+ / 0-)

    they don't have the evidence. he was giving alternative scenarios to what might have happened, like he's the defense attorney. he's supposed to say it could only happen one way.  

    it was a politically motivated prosecution. and unless the jurors ignore the law and facts, it will be an acquittal.

  •  Thanks once again, Mb... (13+ / 0-)

    for your thorough summation of what happened today.

  •  Thanks MB. (9+ / 0-)

    This case is simple. Zimmerman cannot claim self-defense b/c he initiated the encounter with Martin. He was instructed by the 911 dispatcher not to follow Martin. Not only does he continue to pursue Martin but he gets out of his car to follow the kid. I hope the jury will render the right verdict..guilty.

    •  No GZ testimony = no self-defense (4+ / 0-)

      What evidence could there be that GZ thought he was endanger if GZ did not testify?

      •  You mean... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dogs are fuzzy, VClib, Adam B, stellaluna

        ...besides his numerous taped statements to the police, the interview with Sean Hannity, and his written statement, all of which the state introduced as evidence?

        Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

        by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:34:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Malpractice by prosecutor? (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks...haven't been following trial.

          Wow...did Marcia Clark advise the prosecution team???
          Ummmm, wouldn't this have been an affirmative defense, the burden of which would have rested with the defendant?

        •  Pi Li, again IANAL. Re this: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vernonbc, bobatkinson
          besides his numerous taped statements to the police, the interview with Sean Hannity, and his written statement, all of which the state introduced as evidence?
          Don't you find this brilliant at all?

          Aside from any forensics, the 911 & NEN recordings, the only eye witness account to what occurred-from beginning to end- is the shooter.  The only other eye witness is tragically quite dead.

          As a "not a lawyer", what I have been seeing is the state keeping it simple and sticking to what they can prove and by meticulously connecting the dots that establish that the shooter has little to no credibility via his own actions/mouth.

          The prosecution has  to prove that Trayvon Martin died, that GZ killed Trayvon Martin, that GZ did act in an imminently dangerous way towards another & demonstrated a depraved mind without regard to human life.

          And the prosecution has to disprove the self-defense claim of GZ.

          Right?

          Sure appears to me that they have done all of the above using GZ own statements-backing each & every point they are making with forensics/evidence.  

          As I mention, IANAL.  Neither are the jurors.  IMHO, they will either see clearly what has been obvious from the beginning based on just the evidence & the shooters own statements or they won't.

          I believe that the state has provided them with clear & simple means to do so.

    •  I think they'll acquit. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tommy Aces

      ...and I hope to Xenu the state of Florida takes away Zimmerman's right to own a gun, so he spends the rest of his life looking over his shoulder.

      But they won't do that, either.

      America, we can do better than this...

      by Randomfactor on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:17:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Legally wrong. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pi Li, VClib, Catesby, Adam B
      Zimmerman cannot claim self-defense b/c he initiated the encounter with Martin
      First, even if someone provokes the use of force against himself, he CAN claim self-defense under some circumstances.  

      However, in order to provoke the use of force against yourself, you need to use or threaten force.

      Today, in the charge conference, the State wanted the Court to give an instruction based on the statute in the link above, claiming that Zimmerman "provoked" the use of force against himself by following and "confronting" Martin.  The Defense argued that the Court could not give that instruction because there was no evidence Zimmerman was the first to use or threaten force, citing Gibbs.

      The Court agreed with the defense's position and ruled that it would NOT give the instruction.  

    •  rem - under Florida criminal law (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stellaluna, Pi Li, davidinmaine, Edge PA

      that's just not true.

      Zimmerman has a clear self-defense claim under Florida law, that issue is not in doubt. The jury may not believe he acted in self-defense, but by law he has one.  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:34:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From what i have seen GZ story does not add up... (8+ / 0-)

    However why didnt the Prosecution delve into how shooting someone in the leg as self defense versus killing TM...???

    America, We blow stuff up!!

    by IndyinDelaware on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:53:59 PM PDT

    •  I was just glad to hear (23+ / 0-)

      the question of why the screaming abruptly stopped at the gunshot, especially if GZ supposedly didn't know he had shot Trayvon. That was bugging.

      Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

      by hulibow on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:56:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  screaming stopped before the gunshot (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Petroleum Engineer

        last scream was a help, most probably from gz.

        •  or probably from Taryvon, scared shitless from (4+ / 0-)

          seeing the gun. BTW...screams stopped after the shot.

        •  Nope. Screaming stopped exactly when (17+ / 0-)

          the shot was heard. We have all heard that tape over and over and this is a fact.

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

          by rubyr on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:09:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  false, it stopped about second before the shot nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            roundhead
          •  agree (5+ / 0-)

            there may have been a gap and then shouting, on another tape (there were multiple 911 calls/tapes) that they are talking about. I'm just speculating. Perhaps GZ started to shout (not the scream of terror) for help after he pulled the trigger.

            But the one tape that we hear the shot...the screaming stops at the short abruptly as if the screamer is silenced.

            If Zimmerman was the screamer and didn't know he pulled the trigger as he said, he'd not have had a reason to stop screaming at that exact point.

            But when your lungs are instantaneously punctured by a bullet, you have no wind to scream like that suddenly.

            •  Q: Zimmerman admits (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doroma

              He didnt know he pulled the trigger? Really?

              He has admitted that? I am just asking as I haven't been following it except via reading these MB summaries and comments.

              Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

              by emal on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:13:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I did not say "Zimmerman admits". I did not say (0+ / 0-)

                admits.

                I said he said that. At one point he tells the police that he wasn't sure he'd pulled the trigger, iirc.

                It is hard to imagine a scenario where someone is on the bottom, screaming steadily for the 40 sec that we hear on the tape, while being punched and bashed. The gun is behind your right hip (that is where on the police video we see Zimmerman show us where it is...not where the Defense council showed us this week...which was further to the front).. You are lying on your gun...it is in your waist band under your shirt and jacket.

                You scream for 40 sec yet somehow, also, TM is covering your mouth and nose with both of his hands (he did also say this). Yet somehow TM does not get your blood on his hands or sleeves. And somehow TM sees your gun in the rain in the dark behind you under your clothes

                NOPE. I  think the gun was OUT when TM saw it, if he ever did. And I think that kind of "I am going to die" freaked out screaming comes only from someone who has a gun pointed at them.

                And that would be TM

                Somehow with th

                •  laying on your gun? I have a lying/laying issue (0+ / 0-)

                  he was on top of his gun as it was behind his hip. If he were on the bottom.

                  If he were on the top pointing the gun at TM, it would more easily explain"

                  --how someone could scream for 40 sec which we hear...as the screaming person was the one who never had his mouth and nose covered (TM) per GZ"s story.

                  -why TM has no blood on his hands or sleeves despite GZ's nose  bleeding from supposedly being punched when the fight started. TM didn't have his hands on GZ's mouth and nose after all.

                  I can easily imagine TM shrieking when he saw that gun. It's possible TM was on top initially in the fight...they might have rolled around. GZ could have had his head on pavement once or twice (that's the maximum the medical examiner said).

                  But it is also possible that GZ was on top later in the fight, and does not contradict the ear and eye witnesses and was pointing the gun at TM.

                  I think that is what happened. Too bad the prosecution didn't put forward a theory, they should have.

                  •  Ok gotcha (0+ / 0-)

                    I didnt know he said that he was not sure that he had pulled the trigger. IMHO, then if that is true, doesn't sound like someone who was so fearful for his life that is why he used deadly force as he claims SYG affords him.

                    And I fully agree about the screaming,especially if he wasn't sure he'd pull the trigger. Sounds like he is trying too hard.

                    I think there is reasonable credibility doubts and gaps Z 's SYG claim is not strong. So imho absent that, he is guilty.

                    That said I definitely am not under any illusion that the outcome may not be what I believe, that Z is a liar about the circumstances and that he is guilty of as charged. Hope at least manslaughter. Fact remains his SYG defense has some reasonable doubts holes poked in it. Without that defense...he's has to be found guilty of something. But history tells me not to expect it. Justice often seems unfair...unfortunately.

                    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

                    by emal on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 12:10:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Listen to it again (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            doroma

            The last scream of "help!" happened and then a fraction of a second later the shot fired.  The scream did not end in the middle of a shot.

            •  not in the middle (0+ / 0-)

              but never heard again after the shot.

              Zimmerman states he wasn't even sure he shot Martin.  Why would he stop yelling for help?  Especially if he was still so scared that he had to get on top of the fatally wounded Martin and spread out his arms.

              Of course, if it was Martin screaming for his life we all clearly understand why the screams for help stopped and probably why the screams were so frantic - he had a gun pointed at him.

              •  He would stop yelling because the blows stopped (0+ / 0-)

                He took an action that led to the blows stopping.  Whoever was yelling was not yelling literally non-stop.  It was a series of yells interspaced by moments without yells.  Whether or not he knew his gunshot hit and critically injured Trayvon, at that point the blows stopped, and so his yelling stopped in his version of events.

                It does seem bizarre for us to hear that he didn't know that he had hit Trayvon at that close range.  It's possible that he thought he may have missed and that Trayvon simply became docile out fear of the gun.  It does seem a little far-fetched except for the police testimony that Zimmerman seemed surprised to learn that Trayvon was dead.

                How could he think he had missed?  Well, he might not have aimed carefully if he was indeed being struck and trying to ward off the blows.  I think the instinctive thing to do would be to cover and/or turn your head to try to avoid direct blows to the face.  If he was doing that and drew and fired in one motion, then it's certainly possible that he wasn't sure that he hit Trayvon, and also not sure he hit him somewhere critical.

        •  ? Why from GZ? (0+ / 0-)

          Don't think anyone can assign who is screaming or why.

          Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

          by hulibow on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:11:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  To me GZ story is a fabrication, for example... (11+ / 0-)

      if GZ is truthful about where he had his pistol concealed behind his back 1. TM did not see it until he drew the weapon 2. TM was screaming cuz he did not know GZ had the gun 3. GZ could not have drawn out the weapon without standing up. Conjecture of course but GZ story is a fairytale so.....

      America, We blow stuff up!!

      by IndyinDelaware on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:20:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's only a movie thing (0+ / 0-)

      There are some really big blood vessels in legs. That would still have been lethal force because of the chance of hitting one. On top of that there are attacks it might not stop.

      There's a reason police are trained to shoot for rapid collapse or not at all. More than one reason actually.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:44:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks MB (6+ / 0-)

    I was in and out of listening. I hope he pointed out "wimpy soft not a fighter GZ" in the video taken the day after - he looked pretty stealth back then.
    I did get a kick out of the Judge vs. West this morning. He is an ass and more than kind of a whiner.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:54:00 PM PDT

  •  Talk about presumptuous... (5+ / 0-)

    Profiling a minority as "up to no good" and fatally shooting him?  That's reserved for the real police!

  •  Why Can't Eveyone Benefit From The NSA Recordings (9+ / 0-)

    since the cat's already out of the bag?  At this point it seems only large corporations and the "very important people" will have access.

    Watching the riveting cross-examination of Rachel Jeantel – Trayvon Martin’s friend – about the last phone conversation between Trayvon Martin and her before he was killed, it occurred to me that the NSA must have the metadata for those frantic cellphone calls and also have them stored as they have been doing for years.  So, why couldn’t the Defense or Prosecution make a motion to subpoena that metadata and those phone calls as stored and have that information provided to  the court so that the phone calls could actually be heard in the courtroom – sort of a 911 call recording without the presence of 911.
    http://www.saltlaw.org/...

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:54:43 PM PDT

  •  It strikes me that many people don't understand (24+ / 0-)

    this case

    Ordinarily, in a whodunit, we would want a story.

    This wasn't a whodunit. It was an "is it something we should excuse?"

    The roles in that sense , of  the prosecution and defense were reverse

    The prosecution was tasked with disproving the defense, and the defense was tasked with coming up with a believable story.

    I think the state showed their hands last week during the acquittal hearing: They smartly stated that they weren't tasked with disproving all stories that one could imagine as a self defense like the defense team tried to bring up this week.

    They were tasked with proving the defendant to be a liar, and that his stories, the actual one the defendant used before trial were lies.

    So, while the state did have the burden to disprove beyond  a reasonable doubt those claims that the defendant made, the smoke screen is to argue that they had to disprove theories by experts about what they think c ould have happened.

    Those stories are only possibilities. The only story that matters is the one Zimmerman said in his statements because the only other person who could really tell us is dead.

    I think itw as an intereesting strategy. Will it work? I don't know. THey had a lot of stumbles. But I am sure it makes more sense than the open ended "you fill in the blanks for the defendant although he's been found to lie to you"

    For getting this case for a second, one does that say: That we are going to fill in for a defendant who has a lied to us with stories that claim in some unjust way he's not guilty due to "reasonable doubt"

    Reasonable doubt isn't "any story I can create" It should be looking at what the actual defense is as far as his claims about what happened. TO do other wise, is perverse.

    •  Interesting POV... (11+ / 0-)

      So, if the jury is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that GZ is simply lying about the story of how things went down especially his claim of being in a situation where he feared for his life, is that where they can decide legitimately to convict on a charge? Because if he really wasn't in a situation where he could have reasonably feared for his life or great bodily injury, then it could not have been self-defense could it?

      Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

      by Ian S on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:09:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, becaue, if they establish they don't (13+ / 0-)

        believe him, they aren't required to believe anything he said in the statements about his self defense

        Its the same argument the defense wants to use against Rachel, the young black girl. If one believes her earlier falsehoods means she isn't trust worthy, one is not required to believe their defense

        The prosecution made that point last week through its use of case law. That if they prove the defendant a liar, they don't need to prove anytthing else if the jury infers that means he lied about the self defense and his fear level.

        One isn't required to believe any part of a story that a defendant claims once any part of it is considered false.

      •  Amen. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus

        "Aux ames bien nees, la valeur n'attend point le nombre des annees" Pierre Corneille.

        by Patate on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:19:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  rewrite (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emsprater, Ian S, worldlotus, bobatkinson

        this

        Its the same argument the defense wants to use against Rachel, the young black girl. If one believes her earlier falsehoods means she isn't trust worthy, one is not required to believe their defense

        should read

        Its the same argument the defense wants to use against Rachel, the young black girl. If one believes her earlier falsehoods means she isn't trust worthy, one is not required to believe their  witness or evidence offered

        Like I said, it makes sense to me what the prosecution argued. Otherwise the defendant could essentially say anything to get off, and if we weer required to believe it, it hardly seems like real reasonable doubt.

        •  I think Rachel's lies have been quite adequately.. (7+ / 0-)

          explained and really have nothing to do with what happened that night. She clearly didn't want to be on the stand - lied about her age - and I can certainly understand her not wanting to see her friend's body. I actually know people who have a similar problem and won't attend funerals.

          Now her testimony about what Trayvon said certainly doesn't make him look like a choir boy which makes her credible IMHO. In contrast, I think every lie that GZ has been caught in tends to provide benefit for his story of Trayvon being an aggressive "punk" and GZ actually being the victim who narrowly escaped death because he was able to draw his weapon and shoot the belligerent Trayvon.

          Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

          by Ian S on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:49:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Good question (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian S, ferg, roundhead, VClib, Janet 707, stellaluna
        So, if the jury is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that GZ is simply lying about the story of how things went down especially his claim of being in a situation where he feared for his life, is that where they can decide legitimately to convict on a charge?
        Despite what you might have read elsewhere in this thread, even if the jury doesn't completely buy the defence's version of what happened, they must still acquit if the don't buy the state's version to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. In other words, if they think "Well, we don't quite believe Zimmerman, but we're not sure it went down the way the state said", they must acquit. If they think it's 50/50 either way, they must acquit. If they think it pretty much went down the way the state said, but have a reasonable doubt that maybe Zimmerman's story is true, or in fact ANY reasonable scenario where they believe he might have been acting in self defence, they must acquit.

        Beyond a reasonable doubt is a very, very high standard for the state to meet. The reason prosecutor's have such a high conviction rate is that they generally don't bring cases to trial where they have don't very strong evidence that they are confident they can secure a conviction.

        Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

        by Pi Li on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:37:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is no doubt that Zimmerman killed Travon. (5+ / 0-)

          What is being decided is the credibility of Zimmerman's claims that it was necessary for his survival.

          I tend to agree that the facts of the case put Zimmerman's lawyers in a position where the onus is on them to prove something. If they fail to convince us of Zimmerman's story, the undisputed facts convict Zimmerman.

          If I'm on the jury, I'm thinking, "Zimmerman's team didn't convince me the shooting was justified -- Guilty."

          No one on the jury has reasonable doubt that Zimmerman shot Travon. That's not the construct of this case. The prosecution doesn't need to prove that - Zimmerman's confessed it.

          I'm thinking this is what lawyers call an "affirmative defense?"

          "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

          by New Jersey Boy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:47:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Isn't the State also required to prove that (0+ / 0-)

          Zimmerman didn't act in self defense?  Zimmerman doesn't even have prove that it was self-defense.  What Zimmerman had to do was to assert the affirmative defense of self defense and either rely on the State's evidence or present his own about that defense.  But ultimately the state still has to prove it wasn't.  Is this how you understand it to be?

          "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

          by stellaluna on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:45:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the prosecutions argument (4+ / 0-)

            is they only have to disprove the defendant's actual claims about self defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Not a generic notion of self defense.

            the defense argument is more along the lines "anything is possible" and ignoring or down playing all the contradictory statements already made by the defendant pre-trial as to what he claims happened. the defense is playing "what if" at trial. The prosecution is playing 'what did the defendant say happened that night" because but-for those specific statements about self defense, its an unlawful killing.

            The case, as I wrote, reverses the roles. Not in terms of burdens, but in terms of the case that they need to put on.

      •  If one doesn't beleive the defendant (10+ / 0-)

        one is not required to acquit. This is what the prosecution has also said. See both their acquittal hearing last week, and think about their closing today. I may be wrong, but the difference is someone on the ground int he case, is using the same view of the law versus a random person on a web site.

        That's all, you will note, that I said: if you don't believe the defendant, you aren't required to acquit simply because experts claim something else may have been possible

        That's n ot how reasonable doubt works. It doesn't require the elimination of all doubt.

        •  I recently got called for jury duty ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HappyinNM

          ... and that is exactly what the judge told us prospective jurors. Proving a case beyond ANY doubt would be an impossible standard to meet.

          I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

          by ObamOcala on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:41:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This is much like a date-rape case ... (12+ / 0-)

      The victim is on trial in a sense--that's the reality--and the main question for the jury is whether the defendant was acting reasonably under the circumstances.  Showing that Z could not manage a straight, coherent story is pretty much their main job.  He helped them immensely by not testifying in court and subjecting himself to cross examination.  That fact is obvious to the jury even if the prosecution can't talk about it.

      I recall my crim law professor saying that a prosecutor's case should be built around his/her closing argument, which in this case boils down to Z being a malevolent liar.  

      I still think the 2nd degree murder verdict is a reach, although the state made a persuasive case.  A manslaughter conviction seems very possible and indeed likely.  

      •  Exactly. (5+ / 0-)

        The case is still close, however, because the prosecution screwed up in how they executed their strategy rather than in the soundness of the strategy.

        The thing that helped them immensely was the fact he kept changing his story, from which one can logically infer a guilt because of it. If he had shut his mouth up, he probably would be in a stronger position.

        The only reason why this is a close call to me is (1) race (2) the prosecution executed poorly (including poor prep of witnesses) and (3) defense smoke screen

        However, the core argument: If you don't believe the defendant, why are we required to believe his many inconsistent claims about what happened?

        People keep saying reasonable doubt, but I don't understand why reasonable doubt requires believing a liar and killer, and he's the only source of what really happened that night as far as his claims of self defense.

  •  I liked the closing. My prediction is Zimmerman (9+ / 0-)

    will be convicted of something.

  •  For every George Zimmerman, paranoid, wannabee (8+ / 0-)

    cop across the United States, 100 more become police officers for the wrong reasons. Exactly the wrong people in positions of power.

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

    by TerryDarc on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:57:19 PM PDT

  •  I can't see how (12+ / 0-)

    GZ can claim self-defense when he followed the kid in his car, then got out of the car and confronted him.

    If he'd been sitting in the car and was attacked, that's one thing.

    But I know, I'm looking at it from the POV of logic and overlooking how that little twerp had to stand his ground against the scary black boy. Man, I hope that jury convicts on one of those counts.

    There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from Midtown and how late is it open? -- Woody Allen

    by Mnemosyne on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:57:50 PM PDT

    •  Re (3+ / 0-)
      GZ can claim self-defense when he followed the kid in his car, then got out of the car and confronted him.
      The law is: the person who first attacked the other one is the aggressor.

      The more likely scenario is T attacking Z first.

      What happened earlier is not really relevant.

      Not that this case isn't a horrible travesty all around.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:02:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think they could have made a good case (8+ / 0-)

        that following in the car that way was a form of attack, psychological if not yet physical.

        And, yes, horrible travesty. Z should have been arrested immediately, but Fraudia.

        There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from Midtown and how late is it open? -- Woody Allen

        by Mnemosyne on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:06:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why? (9+ / 0-)
        The more likely scenario is T attacking Z first.

        Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

        by hulibow on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:17:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  An important point is that no one really knows who (7+ / 0-)

          attacked who first.  I think that when a person has been stalking you, carrying a gun and refuses to tell you why, that you have the right to defend yourself against him, even if it involves jumping him and pummeling him.   Pummeling isn't committing murder. Trayvon did not commit murder, but Zimmerman did.  Assuming Zimmerman was being assaulted and not Trayvon, which also is unclear and no one seems to actually know that fact, why would he be screaming if he had a gun? How could Trayvon be screaming if he was trying to wrestle the gun away (on which his fingerprints were not found btw)?  Why would the screaming stop simultaneously with the shot if it wasn't Trayvon screaming?

          I really can't understand how Trayvon has no right to stand his ground.  Does having that right only apply to white people?

          I also wonder about Zimmerman's "calmness" when the police arrived and how he had his exculpatory explanation of self-defense at the ready.  Really, I can't even understand how anyone could see this a different way, much less the legal profession.   The whole thing is just a racist travesty. If the races of these two men were reversed, the interpretations would be completely different. I believe that and I am white.

          •  Why would he be screaming if he had a gun? (0+ / 0-)

            I can think of two reasons:

            1. He didn't want to shoot the kid and so he was hoping someone would come and break up the fight

            2. He couldn't reach his gun initially because he was being straddled and struck.  At some point there was an opening that put his gun within his reach, and he grabbed it.

            I'm leaning towards #2, but of course nobody except Zimmerman knows.

            As for Zimmerman's "calmness", think about the conspiracy theories after Newtown, and how the NRA folks were saying that the parents didn't look like they were grieving enough.  Think of how absurd we thought that was because not all people react to trauma and stress in the same way.  Well, why would that be different here?

          •  derridog "jumping him and pummeling him"? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pi Li

            If Zimmerman was brandishing his weapon, yes that would be true. But absent threatening Martin with his gun, or striking him, under Gibb v State Martin had no right to physically attack Zimmerman if his firearm was concealed and his was asking questions, regardless of the tone or content.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:53:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But the evidence from Martin's friend (3+ / 0-)

              on the phone doesn't indicate this.

              He's talking on the phone while he goes to attack someone?   It really doesn't make sense.

              From the friend's testimony it sounds like Zimmerman approaches Martin and grabs him with Martin saying "Get off, get off".    The fight ensued after that with Zimmerman getting the worse of it and like the wimpy, big-talk he pulls out his gun to end the fight.

              Doesn't sound like self-defense to me, more like someone got their ego bruised by a kid that weighed 50 pounds less than him and then pulled out his gun to show the kid who was the boss.

              •  Yes. I agree. I also wonder (0+ / 0-)

                how you could be screaming for your life while at the same time trying to wrest your gun from behind your back.  I try to put myself in that scenario and I can't because the concentration needed to get the gun would surely interfere with my ability to keep screaming or at least cause my voice to become modulated if i were to try to do both.

                Anyway, i don't think it makes any difference at all who jumped who or who was on top.   One person had no gun, was on the phone minding his own business walking home to his father's house. the other person was stalking him, had already decided that he had criminal intent and used profanity to describe him even though all he had seen was a kid walking down the street.   He was told by the 911 person not to confront the kid and not to keep following him. He disobeyed. He brought his loaded gun out of his car with him when he approached the kid.  He did not tell him why he was following him.   If that were a white kid and a black man, you can bet your britches that the attitudes of those defending Zimmerman would be diametrically opposed to what they are now.   It's racism and I think it's disgusting.

      •  I think a more likely scenario is Trayvon... (16+ / 0-)

        reacting to physical aggression by GZ else how do you explain Rachel's testimony of Trayvon shouting to "get off, get off"? I can see Trayvon having words with his pursuer, then turning to leave and GZ, not wanting to let him escape, tries to restrain him. "Get off, get off!" If that actually happened, then GZ would be the aggressor. I mean Trayvon's almost at his destination but it's not his actual home so how comfortable would he be in starting a fight with a creepy ass cracker in that situation? Unless you have reason to believe that Trayvon actually was an aggressive "punk" as GZ claims.

        Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

        by Ian S on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:27:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  when you say it like that (0+ / 0-)
      GZ can claim self-defense when he followed the kid in his car, then got out of the car and confronted him.
      and make an unproven claim, then i guess it would be hard for you to see self defense.

      who confronted who is an issue of dispute. there is no good proof either way.

      •  It's not unfounded. (7+ / 0-)

        Z is on NEN tape as watching Martin from his car, moving his car while watching Martin, then exiting his car and providing information to the NEN operator as to Martin's whereabouts and acts.

        So yes, he followed him in his car, exited his car and continued to follow him.  Those are facts, borne out on tape by Z's own words and answers.

        Nothing changes without public pressure: public pressure doesn't happen without dissemination of knowledge and 'true' facts. Bit me FOX.

        by emsprater on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:16:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Mne - in this criminal trial for murder (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pi Li

      The fact that Zimmerman left his truck and followed Martin are not important facts. Under Florida law the most important part of the case is what happened when the two first meet.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:43:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I keep forgetting that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, PorridgeGun

        we're talking about Florida here. That and "law" don't seem to coexist awfully well in any logical sense.

        There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from Midtown and how late is it open? -- Woody Allen

        by Mnemosyne on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:57:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thats like saying (0+ / 0-)

        Under Florida law it does not matter that the husband had severe money problems and was having an affair, all that matter is that he killed his wife in self defense.

        Of course the totality of the context matters and sequence of events that lead up to the confrontation matters. It matters a lot however inconvenient for the defense.

  •  By the way, it wil be interesting if th e defense (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rubyr, doroma, Tommy Aces, worldlotus

    continues to discuss something other than the defendant's actual verifiable claims before trial in their closing tomorrow.

  •  I believe Zimmerman may have screamed for help (9+ / 0-)

    So fucking what. I also believe
    1) Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon though I think it is irrelevant for the manslaughter charge.
    2)Zimmerman lied about many things that happened between the time he hung up the call and he was on the ground under Trayvon. The bushes comment being such a whopper of a life that I can't believe the state didn't make more of a case out of that lie instead of focusing on unprovable things like who lied for help.
    3) Considering Zimmerman lied about bushes, his whole self defense explanation starts to fall apart. You have to be skeptical about every one of his statements like Trayvon saying "you are going to die" or "you got me".
    4) You can't ignore the fact that he said "these punks get away with it".

    I dont think Zimmerman set out to shoot someone. BUt I feel he always had that itch to shoot some black thug Dirty Harry style and when he found himself on the bottom pof the pile, all inhibitions to restrain oneself in ending a fight with a gun were gone because he gave no value to Martin's life.

    I think he lied about the number of times his head was pounded. I think with the concrete, it is easy to get those scrapes even with a scuffle

    The prosecutors were a joke. Going for 2nd degree murder hurt their case. I will be happy with a hung jury at this point because that means Zimmerman will have to spend money on a future trial and Zimmerman will have to look over his shoulder every time he steps out on the street because someone could very well feel like Ziermman is a threat to their safety because of his trigger happy reputaitn.

    •  I particularly agree with #2 - (7+ / 0-)

      the lie about the bushes was huge, and should have been hammered home again and again to destroy his credibility.

      The most violent element in society is ignorance.

      by Mr MadAsHell on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:26:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it was huge (0+ / 0-)

        Neither did the police.

        Either way it doesn't materially change Zimmerman's version of events: whether he claimed Trayvon jumped out of the dark or jumped out of the bushes, it's basically the same claim: Zimmerman says he got jumped by surprise.

        •  actually it calls into question (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bruh1, bobatkinson

          whether he was really ambushed by Trayvon. If he was inconsistent on the angle Trayvon took when he approachede him, or the number of steps, or the sequence of expressions or blows, I can buy that. But to say he jumped out of the bushes and surprised him is easily a lie to bolster his story that he was ambushed.  Seriously, they expect us to believe Trayvon who was in front of Zimmerman, somehow circled around the neighborhood and jumped him?

          •  I think you're looking too hard for something (0+ / 0-)

            It was dark.  Whether Zimmerman literally meant that Trayvon jumped out of some mass of foliage or that it was simply dark and didn't see him coming, his story is fairly consistent in it's meaning and police testified that this was the normal sort of minor inconsistency when a person tells the same story more than once.

            I actually do think that Zimmerman has lied or exaggerated some parts of his story, but I am not sure that is one of them.

            •  one does not have to look too hard for something (0+ / 0-)

              FWIW, I am not convinced it was Travyon who screamed for help. So I am not blindly following one side. However, come on. I dont care how dark it is. It's like Zimmerboy used some stock comment to justify that he was the one taken by total surprise.

        •  but where did Martin come from to surprise him? (0+ / 0-)

          According to Zimmerman's own testimony he walked right past the path where Martin supposedly was.   Look at the area at the "T" - there is absolutely no place to hide.

          If Martin wasn't right at the "T" then to surprise Zimmerman he would have to be running which Zimmerman would have heard and would not have been surprised.   It just doesn't make any sense how Zimmerman could have been surprised which is why he said at one point that he "jumped out of the bushes".    Of course, the only bushes are about 3 feet tall and located against the town-homes which is why the comment is so ludicrous.   Let's also not forget that this is an area that Zimmerman knows extremely well as he walks his dogs here all the time.

          •  If it was dark, he could have missed him (0+ / 0-)

            In that area there are no streetlights.  He says his flashlight wasn't working.

            Since it was raining the best he would have had is maybe some ambient light leaking out of some windows and maybe a backdoor light or two that was on.  Based on the crime scene photos--although those were taken a bit later--the area does look like it would be really dark.

            It could be that he is lying about that whole part, but there is no evidence that I am aware of to really show that, and his version of events because of the darkness still seems plausible.

            I mean, here's a photo taken at night with a flash. Look at how dark it is there.

            http://www.cfnews13.com/...

      •  Oddly, an honest person might have said that (0+ / 0-)

        Memory is a lot less reliable than we believe it is, and memory of things that happen during an adrenaline overdose can have major elements scrambled.

        It's something to remember if you're ever on a jury.

        I don't think that's what happened here.

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:02:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  His story on how the fight started (0+ / 0-)

          changed 3 to 5 times (I can't remember the exact number but it was at least 3) They all fit his attempt top bolster his self defense claim

          He also didn't mention in any of his statemnts what 2 witness I believed testified too: he was in an argument with the victim

          Another huge  element that would have made him look more guilty if he had said it so he avoided saying it

    •  you got it...that's where I am on this case too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tommy Aces

      I hope they can convict of manslaughter.

  •  Profiling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    A slacker from Nevada was profiled and found to be not suspicious, thus potentially allowing a disaster at several Seattle colleges.

    Eric Rudolph was allowed to roam free and several people died because, as an christian extremist he was profiled as not a threat and protected by fellow Christians.

    Yet we still think profiling is beneficial.

    •  Yup - there are some things that don't (0+ / 0-)

      quite make sense to me in Henderson's story.

      Erik Henderson, the Butte long-haul trucker who gave Jasper a ride from Idaho and let him stay in his home, said the body armor was his from when he was a contract convoy trucker in Iraq. The guns were hunting weapons, he said.

      Henderson, 46, said Jasper described himself as an “anarchist.”

      “But you hear that from a lot of college-aged kids these days,” he said, adding that Jasper was friendly and “seemed normal.”

      ...

      Henderson discovered his pickup, guns and body armor missing Tuesday after returning home from 11 days on the road.

      Jasper, he said, had left a message saying he was driving to Seattle to “argue with some legislators about some issues he was upset at.”

      So when exactly did Henderson discover his truck and weapons missing? When did he give Jasper the ride? If Henderson had just returned from an 11 day trip, when did he let Jasper stay at his place? Was Jasper there by himself the whole 11 days?

      But there are few sanctions against someone for failing to keep their guns secured. And because private transfers don't require any background check all the Mr. Henderson's of the world are free to rely on their own trusting natures when the leave their guns lying around and invite crazy or angry drifters into their homes.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:37:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who thinks that profiling is beneficial? (0+ / 0-)

      Who are you addressing?

      "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

      by New Jersey Boy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:57:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Guilty. (6+ / 0-)

    Nothing has come to light to change my mind.

  •  A little on Sanford's history (11+ / 0-)
    Jackie Robinson in 1946

    On October 23, 1945, the Brooklyn Dodgers announced that they had signed Jackie Robinson assigning him to their International League team, the Montreal Royals.

    Branch Rickey, Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager believing he "knew" Florida, thought his team could train there ruffling as few feathers as possible. Robinson and his wife were instructed by Rickey not to try to stay at any Sanford hotels. He and his wife didn’t eat out at any restaurants not deemed “Negro restaurants." He didn't even dress in the same locker room as his teammates.

    As soon as the citizenry became aware of Robinson's presence, the mayor of Sanford was confronted by a "large group of white residents" who "demanded that Robinson...be run out of town."

    On March 5, 1946, the Royals were informed that they would not be permitted to take the field as an integrated group. Rickey was concerned for Robinson’s life and sent him to stay in Daytona Beach. His daughter, Sharon Robinson, remembered being told, "The Robinsons were run out of Sanford, Florida, with threats of violence."

    In his 1993 book, "A Hard Road to Glory: A History Of The African American Athlete: Baseball" tennis great Arthur Ashe wrote in response, Rickey "moved the entire Dodger pre-season camp from Sanford, Florida, to Daytona Beach due to the oppressive conditions of Sanford."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

    by deben on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:06:17 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the summation (16+ / 0-)

    Zimmermans claim that Martin covered his mouth while reaching for his gun is totally bogus as the 911 recording show that there was screaming right up until the gunshot.

    Right man, right job and right time

    by Ianb007 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:07:17 PM PDT

  •  closing (18+ / 0-)

    I have not been following this case, or watching the trial. Of course I am aware of it and know the details from when it originally happened, and I've been reading MB's diaries.

    I've seen several comments about how bad the prosecutor did. Well, I did watch a lot of the closing today, and to me, he did a good job. Maybe because I already have my opinion. I don't know. But, I thought he made a good case. I hope so.

  •  Thanks, MB, these diaries require a ton of (9+ / 0-)

    work and  I appreciate it, as do so many others.

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

    by rubyr on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:18:15 PM PDT

  •  I haven't been watching, but this sounds (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, doroma, worldlotus, bobatkinson

    like he did a pretty good job. I hope a lot of America heard this, b/c there apparently is a lot of BS out there.

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:21:07 PM PDT

  •  who's on top? (4+ / 0-)

    I have always believed that Zimmerman was on top and that the minor scratches were part of a scuffle. There is no physically possible way to get at the gun other wise. He shot directly at the heart and then holstered his weapon. Then turned the body over. That to me is obvious. What isn't so obvious is whether there will be a conviction. This is more of a case against SYG, than anything else, and the jury in their heart of hearts knows this. If Z walks, the SYG walks along with him and it's open season on who ever displeases you, as long as there are no witnesses. Remember, this fat fuck was never charged initially, it was looked at as nothing out of the ordinary by the Sanford Police Dept. It amounted to good live Sport!

  •  Hopefully the women on the jury (17+ / 0-)

    will use common sense. There is not one instance where it has been recorded that Zimmerman was upset. Even cops suffer after they shoot people, it's traumatic, even if it is by the book 100%. I see no remorse, Zimmerman is flat lined.

    Common sense alerts us to the needless loss of Trayvon, his parents' suffering, the upset of the community, ideological and racial tensions, and all the other fallout [including the trial] which drags a community through the mud and costs them real money.

  •  talkleft jeralyn's take on the case (0+ / 0-)

    an excerpt from: Benjamin Crump: Who Screamed Doesn't Matter - TalkLeft: The Politics Of Crime

    Now that the evidence has been presented, my previously expressed opinions on this case have only become more solidified. Looking to the future, and the legacy of this case, here is what I see. Keep in mind this is only my opinion.

    Whether George Zimmerman is acquitted or convicted, and I am not making any predictions before hearing closing arguments and reading the jury instructions, the legacy of this case will be that the media never gets it right, and worse, that a group of lawyers, with the aid of a public relations team, who had a financial stake in the outcome of pending and anticipated civil litigation, were allowed to commandeer control of Florida's criminal justice system, in pursuit of a divisive, personal agenda.

    Their transformation of a tragic but spontaneous shooting into the crime of the century, and their relentless demonization of the person they deemed responsible, not for a tragic killing, but for "cold-blooded murder," has called into question the political motives and ethics of the officials serving in the Executive branch of Florida's government, ruined the career of other public officials, turned the lives of the Zimmerman family, who are as innocent as their grieving clients, into a nightmare, and along the way, set back any chance of a rational discussion of the very cause they were promoting, probably for years.

    The problems of racial disparity and arbitrary enforcement of our criminal laws are real, systemic and need to be addressed. Criminal defense lawyers see it and fight to correct it every day. From charging decisions to plea offers to sentences, the system is not fair and everybody knows it.

    But this case has never been representative of those problems. And perhaps most unfortunate of all, as a result of the false narrative created by the lawyers for grieving parents who tragically lost their son -- a narrative perpetuated by a complicit and ratings-hungry media -- any attempt at meaningful reform is likely to fall on deaf ears for years to come.

    my bolding. this case does not represent any liberal causes. it has been twisted into that by a rush to judgment before even knowing the evidence.  

    my two cents.

  •  Shooting an unarmed teen-ager because you followed (11+ / 0-)

    him against the police dispatcher's request makes Zimmerman guilty in my book.

    •  Connecting the dots between following someone (0+ / 0-)

      and having depraved indifference to life is tenuous.  Though he was stupid for following him and it led to Trayvons death being stupid is not a crime.  Sometimes it should be though.

      Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

      by thestructureguy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:14:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am glad prosecution hammered that (9+ / 0-)

    getting out of the vehicle in.......I hope it sticks.....
    Thanks for your continued updates MB !

    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 Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:12:54 PM PDT

  •  TM was just walking home from the store (5+ / 0-)

    Martin could have been anybody's kid.

    I think zimmerman is a racist and coward that sees carrying a gun gets him out of any problem.

  •  the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma

    What was in the mind of Zimmerman?
    We will never know because he didn't take the stand.

  •  Someone needs to do a diary about burden of proof (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma, worldlotus, MsPlasmodesmata

    There seems to be a lot of confusion going back and forth about who needs to prove what, and how that changes because Zimmerman followed Trayvon, and how it may and may change again depending on who actually started the fight.

    •  Pick any of the relevant diaries, look for (4+ / 0-)

      longer comments by coffeetalk and bruh1 (often handily adjacent!) and the links therein. Those are the main competing views.

      Or listen to/read the instructions the judge gives the jury at the end of the case.

    •  The state has the burden of proving, beyond a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan G in MN, VClib, New Jersey Boy

      reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman did NOT act in self-defense.  That's Florida law.

      Here are two authorities for that.  First is the case of Falwell v. State (citing a number of other cases).

      Second, see the Florida standard jury instructions (big pdf here).  In section 3.6(f), you will find the following, to be read in all self-defense 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 that if the jury is not sure, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman did NOT act in self-defense, the jury should acquit.  

      You will hear MOM talk about this a lot tomorrow.  

  •  i don't know if it's been commented on in this (8+ / 0-)

    thread, but did anyone notice gz's eyes when de la rionda asked the jury if gz was reaching for his cellphone (like he claims) or his gun -- i noticed a reaction from him, like he knew de la rionda got it right! -- & then he shook his head, & that's the 1st time i've seen him react to something that's been said in the trial. mr. bluezen has said from the beginning that gz went for his gun, not his phone, & that's what started the fight. tm saw what he was doing, reacted, & tried to stop him from using it.

    also, did anyone see gz's dad mugging it up for the jury? i saw him rolling his eyes at the ceiling & smirking everytime de la rionda scored a good point. i really thought the judge was going to throw him out of court. i'm sure the jury saw it, too, & if i was on the jury, i wouldn't like the defendant's family showing emotion like that. it just proves that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree in gz's family. they're all lyin' ass actors.

    •  I digress, but I do wonder why (6+ / 0-)

      whoever is providing the feed (or maybe there are several?) is permitting that kind of coverage of the gallery. The short-term pleasing of the audience this way in one case cuts against their long-range goal of cameras in more courtrooms, particularly federal. It's exactly the kind of thing the federal judiciary uses to say "not in our house." Steve Brill worked so hard to establish credibility when Court TV started, and this sort of thing cuts against what he used to get in the door. (The question of whether they should be able to keep the cameras out is a different one, of course.)

      •  that's a good point. come to think of it, i don't (4+ / 0-)

        remember watching a trial that had gallery shots like this one. in a way, tho, it's revealing what it says about gz's family (imo). plus, the camera caught the shot of the witness (donnelly) sitting in court before he testified -- & violating the order against witnesses hearing trial testimony -- & it's my understanding the judge is going to tell the jury to disregard his, so the cameras served some good, anyway.

        •  After mulling this over, there's something in (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bluezen

          the back of my mind about Florida state courts being the first ones to allow TV cameras, back in the Ronnie Zamora case. They may have developed looser procedures than the jurisdictions that came later, especially after the OJ Simpson trial. But I'm too lazy to look it up.

          You're right that it does have some benefits.

  •  Zimmerman did not legally provoke an (8+ / 0-)

    attack on himself.  I've seen that in the thread again today.  That argument has been rejected by the Court.  If you watched the charge conference this morning (see about halfway in this video and the following videos), the State argued that the Court should give an instruction on a claim of self-defense by an aggressor.  (It's a higher standard for a defendant claiming self-defense.) The State claimed that Zimmerman "provoked" the use of force by Martin by following him and perhaps "confronting" him.   The defense, relying on the Gibbs case (which I've cited here numerous times) argued that "provoked" means use or threat of force, and that there was no evidence that Zimmerman was the first to use or threaten force.  They said that because there was no evidence that Zimmerman provoked the use of force against himself, that instruction should not be given.

    The Court said it would not give the instruction.

    You notice that today, BDLR said only that Zimmerman "started it" by following Martin.  He could not argue anything more than that (for example, he could not argue that Martin was "defending himself" against Zimmerman when he hit Zimmerman) in light of the judge's ruling that there was no basis for an instruction based on the contention that Zimmerman legally provoked the use of force by Martin.  

    That argument was put to bed by the Court today.   In my view, this was a very significant development today that few people have focused on.

    •  That's helpful. I hadn't seen the charge (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Nova Land, thestructureguy

      conference. Thanks for the link.

    •  that is a very big deal indeed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thestructureguy
    •  I fear this is lost on many people on here. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

      by thestructureguy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:29:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  coffeetalks says (0+ / 0-)
      "You notice that today, BDLR said only that Zimmerman "started it" by following Martin.  He could not argue anything more than that (for example, he could not argue that Martin was "defending himself" against Zimmerman when he hit Zimmerman) in light of the judge's ruling that there was no basis for an instruction based on the contention that Zimmerman legally provoked the use of force by Martin.  "
      This is just not factual , the prosecutors whole argument was about how GZ went after TM , GZ was the aggressor , and GZ provoked the confrontation , you are misrepresenting what was said completely , he built his case around the fact that GZ willingly went after TM , AGGRESSIVELY , then ended up shooting him , while TM was basically minding his own business  

      And of course the prosecution is not going to argue GZ attacked TM , and he does not have too , because there is zero evidence to support how they ended up interacting either way   , besides the word of a proven liar any way

      The prosecutor is not an idiot , and not everyone on this sight is either  

      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 01:56:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If armed assholes can't shoot 1st and ask (0+ / 0-)

      questions later, and put an innocent dead black kid on trial to save themselves there is no freedom in the south anymore because black people.

  •  No attempts at resuscistation (9+ / 0-)

    Such a great point by the prosecutor today that after the shooting, GZ never tried to resuscitate TM. He just left him there to die. He contrasted that with the first responder's heroic attempts to resuscitate TM, even using skin contact against policy because there was no time to get the gear needed. Why didn't GM try to revive TM? It just makes him look so inhumane.

    •  Not really sure that makes that much of (0+ / 0-)

      difference unless you want to convict for not rendering aid.  Not even a crime though.  Making the defendant out to be an evil person is standard procedure for the prosecution.  Helps the jury convict someone.  Easier when a monster.  

      Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

      by thestructureguy on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:33:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jury of women have to be thinking...... (6+ / 0-)

    If a young black male circled my wife's car, she would lock the doors and leave. I wonder if the women on the jury are thinking "Why would he get out of the vehicle and follow the guy?" It is sad but it is America and how people think. I don't understand it at all. Here in FL I can shoot someone and as long as I kill them and there is no witness, I walk????? The jury needs to send a message to the other George Zims out there that think this way. You can't shoot someone because you lost a fight you started. If he walks, I fear this will become a revolving door of "I was protecting myself" sheeyot.

  •  This was murder. (4+ / 0-)

    For the last year and a half, I've been following this case and dissecting, with others, the evidence in discovery. We've gone through it and compared it to Florida law.  I've long thought that the 2nd degree murder charge was warranted, even if it turned out not to be provable beyond a reasonable doubt.  And I thought manslaughter was likely the best chance at a conviction.

    I thought the wailing on the 911 call would be a wash.  I figured there would be no way to prove one way or the other who it belonged to.

    Tonight, thanks to an error by the press corps in the live feed after court went into recess, I saw a photograph of Trayvon's face at the crime scene, for the first time (it was part of the PowerPoint presentation that the state used in its closing arguments).  There was a tear stain running all the way down his left cheek.

    Because it only flashed on the screen for a second, I did go see if I could find it elsewhere, and I found another photograph, from a slightly different angle.  This one showed that he had a runny nose when he died.

    I'm sure some would say that those fluids appeared after he was shot, but the fact that the tear fell down his face gives lie to that suggestion.

    There can be no doubt that Trayvon was the one wailing for his life.  This was murder, without a doubt.

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