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Zimmerman Discovery Released

Update: MSNBC has posted all 183 pages of the documents released today. So has The New York Times here.

The discovery in the George Zimmerman case has been released. It's abundantly clear why Zimmerman was not arrested the night Trayvon Martin was shot. There was no evidence he committed a crime.

There are now plenty of photos like this one showing Zimmerman's injuries to his nose and scalp. Police reports refer to Zimmerman's voice being heard crying out for help multiple times in one of the 911 calls. The only eyewitness who could make an identification as the struggle was ongoing and before the shot (who appears to be John) told police at the scene that the man in the red jacket was on the bottom, crying for help, and the guy on top of him was repeatedly hitting him.

So why did one officer request a capias? It had nothing to do with evidence of a crime. It was because the officer said had Zimmerman stayed in his car, nothing would have happened. [More...]

The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog to dispel each party’s concern,” the Sanford Police Department’s report says. “There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter.”

Getting out of one's car is not a crime. Either is following someone in public. Using a "but for" analysis, why didn't the officer conclude that had Trayvon not smacked Zimmerman, he would still be alive? That appears to be a far more immediate cause of the shooting than Zimmerman's getting out of his car.

It's also an unsupportable theory for criminal liability. How far back do you go? One could say if Zimmerman stayed home that night and didn't go to the store, Trayvon would be alive. Or if Trayvon had stayed home and not gone to 7-11 that night, he would still be alive. But for a hundred things, Trayvon would be alive. (If only an airline passenger had taken a different plane, he wouldn't have gone down with the flight. If only a person took a different route to the store, or left home 10 minutes later, he could have avoided a fatal car accident and would still be alive.) They are all true, but they are not a basis for charging a crime.

Other findings in the discovery: As previously reported,the skin on one of Trayvon's knuckles was broken.

Marijuana was found in Trayvon's blood and urine. Marijuana stays in one's system for around 28 days, so without researching what the quantity levels mean, which I haven't had time to do, it may not be evidence of recent usage. And marijuana doesn't cause violence, so I doubt it's related to why Trayvon hit Zimmerman.

A bit more significant: Chris Serino played the 911 calls for Tracy Martin when he wanted to know why Zimmerman wasn't arrested. Another officer was with Serino. Serino asked Tracy Martin whether the voice crying out for help in the 911 call was Trayvon's. Mr. Martin said "No." That conversation was not recorded, however, and a report by another officer says he was outside the room and could hear them, but Tracy Martin speaks very softly and he couldn't hear his answers.

I'm still making my way through the photographs and the reports. There are 183 pages of reports and a ton of recordings and photographs. Here's the state's list of what was released. You can view more than 40 of the photographs here.

No one saw the beginning of the struggle or who initiated it. But since witness John was outside and saw them fighting before the gun went off, and saw "the other guy" beating the guy in the red jacket, it's pretty obvious Zimmerman didn't slip on the sidewalk and fall on his face, get up, and then slip again, landing on his back.

What has not been released are George Zimmerman's statements. They are exempt from public records disclosures as "confessions."

There are several DNA reports that two person's DNA is on various items, but most conclude they can't identify the secondary contributor, and I haven't matched the reports up to their exhibit numbers yet, to see if any are particularly relevant.

The state's attorney has put the discovery on a newly built website created for media access. While various media sites will put some of it up on their websites, I am not confident they won't cherry-pick the material and only post some of it.
So late this afternoon, when I read about the website created for the media, I applied to the state's attorney's office for media access for TalkLeft. My request has been granted.

It's not free. Every media organization has to share in the cost. The check or money order must be received at the state's attorney's office by 5 pm tomorrow. Personal checks, credit cards and cash are not accepted. I got my business check to Fedex at 5 pm today, and the state's attorney's office has graciously granted my access, conditioned on them getting my check by 5 pm tomorrow, which will happen.

I'm making my way through all the material. If I see things being misreported or incompletely or misleadingly reported, either in the media or in comments at TalkLeft, I'll be able to state what contradicts it.

For example, the Orlando Sentinel has posted some of DeeDee's interview. But their segment is under 5 minutes long and the interview is actually almost 30 minutes. Since I can now listen to the whole thing, I'll be able to point out things not included in the shortened versions the media decides to republish.

One last word about the media website. They did a really good job with it, in terms of speed of access and organizing the material. I can download whole sections or individual documents/recordings. It will even store what I choose to download in my own "bin" online so I can get to it quickly when I next log on. It's really pretty impressive.

By the way, the Arizona iced tea can (it was a can, not bottle) was in Trayvon's sweatshirt pocket. They put it on top of the yellow blanket/tarp covering his body. And it was Serino who asked Officer Doris Singleton (reportedly a narcotics officer) to interview Zimmerman that night. Serino was at the scene that night.

If you have comments and questions about the new discovery, this thread is for you.

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  • Thanks for taking the time and making the effort (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by scribe on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:32:23 PM EST
    and spending the money to get TalkLeft access.  That's a real public service.

    Now, if we can just get some of the commenters to get off the hobbyhorse of trying to fit facts to preconceived and predetermined conclusions, we'll all be able to see more clearly.

    Much Appreciated (none / 0) (#24)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:30:56 PM EST
    Thanks for taking the time and making the effort and spending the money to get TalkLeft access.  That's a real public service.

    What Scribe said, because I couldn't say it better.

    Parent
    What was cost to get access (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Green26 on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:18:36 PM EST
    to the documents? Just curious.

    Thanks for all your good work and analysis on this and the John Edwards trial. Your information and analysis is truly fascinating.

    less than I spent (none / 0) (#56)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:39:01 PM EST
    per week on PACER to get the Edwards documents. It was very reasonable.

    Parent
    Heh (none / 0) (#58)
    by bmaz on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:45:41 PM EST
    Well PACER ain't getting any cheaper these days. Jeebus, it is a LOT for such a balky antiquated interface.  That said, I too thank you for the service.

    Parent
    You're doing a great service (none / 0) (#120)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:16:33 AM EST
    on this case Jeralyn.  Thank you.

    Parent
    thanks from me, too! (none / 0) (#146)
    by SuzieTampa on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:33:30 AM EST
    Jeralyn, (none / 0) (#165)
    by bocajeff on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:30:45 AM EST
    I don't agree with much on this site, but I gotta say that I've been coming back for 7 or 8 years regularly because I love the passion and dedication Jeralyn puts in to the 'cause'. I don't have to agree with the points of view, but I am in awe of the effort and dedication.

    Parent
    I've got a gun! (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Raoul on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:59:39 AM EST
    "That is what the witness said and that is presumably what the witness heard. However, that was after Zimmerman fired the fatal shot, when he had his hands up and was identifying himself to the approaching police officer. In fact (p. 41) the full quote is "I've got a gun, I've got a gun. Take my gun from me".  How did the WaPo miss that?"

    http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2012/05/the-wapo-on-the-zimmerman-evidence-are-they-kidding.ht ml

    Thank you (none / 0) (#82)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 01:05:07 AM EST
    for clarifying!

    Parent
    Yes, thanks for clarifying (none / 0) (#86)
    by 12345 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 01:15:11 AM EST
    I didn't see your post before I posted mine.

    Parent
    7-11 video (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by DizzyMissL on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:40:18 AM EST
    shows Martin in khaki pants.  On page 16 of the Scribd police report, it says he was wearing shorts.  Did he go home and change?

    Two different autopsy reports? (none / 0) (#1)
    by mike in dc on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:21:54 PM EST
    I'm a little confused by conflicting reports about the gunshot wound.  One says it was at close range, within inches, and the other says it was at a greater, "intermediate range".  My impression is one is a police examiner report, and the other is the ME's report?  Is this accurate?  Will the "intermediate range" finding be potentially problematic for the defense?

    I read both (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:26:38 PM EST
    reports and without going back to them can't answer your question. I will try to do that tonight. I think there are two reports and  my immediate thought as I was reading them is that they were talking about different things. But again, I'll check as soon as I can (sometime tonight) and tell you.

    Parent
    Medical Examiner v Firearms Lab (none / 0) (#4)
    by Cylinder on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:29:08 PM EST
    The ME says intermediate range because of the condition of the body. The Firearms Lab says contact due to the condition of the clothing.

    From page 122:

    The sweatshirts each display a hole located in the upper left chest area. The areas around these holes were microscopically examined and chemically processed for the presence of gunshot residues, Both holes display residues and physical effects consistent with a contact shot.

    Distance tests were conducted using fabric cut from the back of each of the sweatshirts, as well as the Exhibit TS-1 pistol [ed: this is Zimmerman's weapon], magazine and one of the TS-1 cartridges from Submission 1. These tests along with the other test materials generated during examination are being returned in the same container as their respective exhibit.



    Parent
    Thanks (none / 0) (#10)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:45:11 PM EST
    Thanks for your posts about the discovery today, Cylinder.

    Parent
    The Medical Examiner description of the wound (none / 0) (#17)
    by Cylinder on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:06:49 PM EST
    The ME describes the wound on page 127:

    The entrance wound is located on the left chest, 17-1/2 inches below the top of the head, 1 inch to the left of the anterior midline, and 1/2 inch below the nipple. It consists of a 3/8 inch diameter round entrance defect with soot, ring abrasion, and a 2x2 inch area of stipling. This wound is consistent with a wound of entrance of intermediate range.


    Parent
    Sounds like his heart. Or damn close to it. (none / 0) (#135)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:04:33 AM EST
    Through the right ventricle (none / 0) (#173)
    by Cylinder on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:48:48 AM EST
    The projectile went through the right ventricle and the right lung.

    Further examination demonstrates that the wound track passes directly from front to back and enters the pleural cavity with perforations of the left anterior fifth intercostal space, pericardial sac,  right ventrical of the heart, and the the right lower lobe of the lung. There is no wound of exit.

    Three fragments of projectile are recovered. The lead core is recovered in the pericarial sac behind the right ventricle. Two fragments of the jacket are recovered in the right pleral cavity behind the the right lower lobe of the lung.

    The injuries associated with the wound: The entrance wound; perforations of the left anterior fifth intercostal space, pericardial sac, right ventricle of the heart, right lower lobe of the lung with approximately 1300 milliliters of blood in the right plerural cavtity and 1000 in the left pleural cavity; the collapse of both lung.

    2 liters of blood surrounding his lungs. Wow.

    Parent

    Interesting, but (none / 0) (#184)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:11:30 AM EST
    is there a point of interest vis-a-vis the criminal case that this information sheds a light on?

    Parent
    Why Z was not (none / 0) (#192)
    by Rojas on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:32:51 AM EST
    covered in blood.

    Parent
    gotcha, thanks (none / 0) (#201)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:53:38 AM EST
    IMO! In order (none / 0) (#205)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:02:33 PM EST
    for Zimmerman to be covered in blood on him it requires blood pressure and a beating heart.  Judging from the damage done to his heart I don't think there was blood pressure for more than a second or two.  That TM had on two shirts, one being a loose sweat/hoodie, may have prevented blow back also.

    IMO, a wound like this would just seep according to gravity.  There is nothing there with a shattered ventricle to make him bleed out.

    Parent

    Not particularly (none / 0) (#194)
    by Cylinder on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:33:39 AM EST
    It's probably not that probative in regards to the claim of justification, but it does clear up some of the forensics - like the issue of no visible blood on Zimmerman's front - the majority of the blood loss collecting in the plerual cavities.

    Maybe I should have labeled it as graphic or NSFW. If that's the case or the post is outside the TOS then it should be deleted with my sincere apologies.

    Parent

    One was the police crime lab (none / 0) (#28)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:46:07 PM EST
    the other was the county medical examiner, iirc.

    Parent
    Fox news reported that intermediate range (none / 0) (#122)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:20:37 AM EST
    according to a former NYC coroner means between 1 and 18 inches.  

    I gather it's powder stain range but not shin contact burn range.  

    I could link but then you lot could google.  I've never made up information on this case (or other ones).

    Parent

    The crime. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Addison on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:25:31 PM EST
    So why did one officer request a capias? It had nothing to do with evidence of a crime.

    Shooting someone in the chest is a crime unless it's deemed to be justified by statute, right? And at the heart of the issue some people have with SYG laws (and I won't delve into this topic further, as per your request) is the way in which these determinations are made, and by whom. A more standardized, regimented, and transparent method of determining whether deadly force was "justified" would seem to solve both our problems here.

    self defense (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:38:20 PM EST
    or stand your ground is available to someone who acts in response to being assaulted and placed in fear of his life or of serious bodily injury.  Even if Zimmerman is found to be the aggressor, which I don't think would be legally correct, he still gets to assert self-defense. The only difference is that the aggressor has a duty to retreat if possible, which means he has to extricate himself from the situation instead of using deadly force, if he can.

    And if he was not the aggressor, because Trayvon was not justified in assaulting him, then he can claim stand your ground and has no duty to retreat.

    The determination of whether self-defense, stand your ground or even a mistaken shooting applies is first made by police who recommend charges or no charges. Under Florida's immunity statute, they can't arrest unless they have probable cause of a crime. If a person says he acted in self-defense, they have to evidence to dispute his assertion before arresting him. If he is charged, the ultimate determination is made by a judge or jury. There are many layers here, it's not a nebulous standard, or unregulated or arbitary.

    The only unique feature of stand your ground is the elimination of the duty to retreat. The duty to retreat is at the point in time when the threat happens to which the person responds with deadly force. The duty to retreat has no application to something that happened earlier, like Zimmerman's exiting his car.

     

    Parent

    Okay. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Addison on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:48:03 PM EST
    Even in the police station this was disagreement among the police about whether to charge, so there's some nebulousness there! Whether "probable cause" for denying justification of self-defense exists in an admitted killing should not be up to police officers, in my opinion. It should be a 100% open and adjudicated process -- I agree that once things make it to the court system I have no real substantive issues with the process. But I'm going to respect your wishes and not argue this point further. I have larger issues with so many things, but I hope you can see that I'm keeping my discussion limited to the process of implementation and not the actual laws themselves.

    Thank you for gaining direct access to the information so that all these issues can be discussed with as direct knowledge as possible.

    Parent

    you're doing fine (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:57:46 PM EST
    but it's always cops that first investigate a crime and then make a recommendation to prosecutors, who then decide whether to charge -- unless a grand jury is used. If you are arguing this case should have gone to a grand jury instead of being decided by a prosecutor, the only problem is that it is prosecutors who decide what to present to the grand jury and it's a secret, one-sided proceeding. While ethics rules say prosecutors should present exculpatory information to the grand jury, case law says they don't have to. So a one sided grand jury proceeding isn't transparent or definitive or even particularly fair.

    Self defense only applies to an admitted killing. Only someone who admits doing the act can claim self-defense. I'm not understanding your point, feel free to explain.

    (The only thing I have asked not be discussed is people's personal views on stand your ground laws and whether they should be changed. I have no problem with you discussing how they work in the context of a particular case.)

    Parent

    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Addison on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:16:46 PM EST
    My point in emphasizing "admitted" was merely that, to emphasize that the fact of the "crime" wasn't in question -- only the justification. That makes it somewhat different than most other crimes where if the person admits the fact of the crime they're confessing to the charge as well.

    Regarding the interplay between transparent police procedure and secret grand juries, yeah, I don't know how to ensure, on a policy level, what I would view as the "proper" level of transparency and standardization between the two levels of the process. It's difficult. And the police will always have the power to determine charges in all cases, self-defense down to loitering. It just seems like as long as there's a special statute for determining justification of deadly force, a special process for cases resulting in death (and thus potentially lacking one "side" of witnesses) could be written into it.

    Parent

    Yeah (none / 0) (#37)
    by bmaz on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:57:17 PM EST
    It was admitted and there was more than sufficient, even if not dispositive, evidence to suggest self defense. Even without SYG statute in play, I am not sure you arrest under the circumstances they faced. In fact, I think it would have been arguably wrong to have done so without more at the time.  Charging later is a different question.

    The above being said, if there was to be a charge filed, it had to be manslaughter under 782.07. The second degree charge is so patently untenable as to be borderline unethical for Angela Corey to have filed. It really is just unsupportable under the facts as displayed by this evidence set.

    Parent

    Two things Jeralyn (none / 0) (#13)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:49:33 PM EST
    1. Thanks for paying the money and spending the time to get access to the discovery.
    2. I'm basically going to bow to your superior knowledge of law, and take back my "obviously it needs clarified"... EXCEPT I still think Addison has a bit of a point. I think it's very possible that Sanford PD was not very familiar with this law and how it worked in application, and thus while it might seem straightforward to a lawyer such as yourself, do you think it's necessarily as straightforward for a Police Detective, esp one who probably has never dealt with it before? And if so, how do we deal with this ? More training? Or keeping it exactly the same legally but writing it less in legalease and more in english?


    Parent
    I think what happens (4.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:33:45 PM EST
    is the same in all cases and is no different when self-defense is at issue. The police write up their report of their investigation, and send it to the prosecutor, usually with a recommendation that charges either be filed or not filed. It's always the prosecutor's decision whether the facts, as reported by police, amount to a crime, to select which  crime the facts establish was committed. That's a legal determination. The prosecutor also has to consider whether there is enough evidence to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. A prosecutor who doesn't think what the police provided establishes a crime, or  that the crime is not provable beyond a reasonable doubt, is not supposed to bring charges.

    That's why decisions aren't made overnight. Not all killings are crimes. A killing done in self-defense is not a crime. The police need time to conduct and conclude an investigation when the facts aren't fully known and readily apparent.  The prosecutor needs time to review the police investigation. The prosecutor may go back to the police and say "you're missing this, get me more" before making a decision.

    The problem in this case, the way I see it, is the Martins' lawyers got impatient and were afraid no one would really investigate, so they started their media blitz. There was no just cause for arresting Zimmerman that night.  Investigations like this can take a year or more. The more thorough the investigation, the better the prosecution's ultimate case will be. By rushing the state into a charging decision, the state may have moved too soon, when it doesn't have the evidence and now, because the case has become such a lightening rod, witnesses with information may not come forward or tell the truth, and other witnesses, who are morally outraged, have changed their stories, which may make them not credible at trial.

    It's not that there's anything wrong with the system, it's that in this case, people interjected themselves into it. The time to complain about a "whitewash" or failure to conduct a thorough investigation is when it's over and  a determination has been made that charges aren't warranted. It's not the day after or even two weeks after a shooting.  Had everyone stayed away from the media until the investigation was complete, Zimmerman might have been charged and the evidence against him more solid.

    People seem to have an idea that routine tests and evidence collection and witness interviews weren't done in this case because Zimmerman wasn't charged immediately. That's not true -- and the discovery released today shows how much they did do -- from evidence gathering, submitting it for testing, obtaining witness statements, etc. There's fingerprint reports, ballistic reports, results of tests on clothing, blood analysis, DNA testing, firearm reports, interviews and re-interviews of more than 20 witnesses, video recordings, FBI analysis of the calls, multiple interviews of the suspect without a lawyer. What didn't they do, and how do you know those things wouldn't have been done if left to conduct the investigation in their usual way?

    The Sanford Police Dept. has a major crimes division -- and homicide investigators. Of course they know how to investigate a shooting. And the Florida Division of Law Enforcement is available to help them. Law enforcement is all about sharing these days.

    I'm not sure there is a problem other than that the media, at the behest of a public relations firm hired by lawyers for the Martin family, created one.

    Parent

    Phone Revelation (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:00:14 PM EST
    It looks like the Sanford police couldn't make use of Trayvon's phone because Tracy Martin refused to share the pin number with them. See page 17 of the evidence document.

    If this is true, the Martins arranged to find Dee Dee before the Sanford PD, then used their failure to find Dee Dee to accuse them of foot-dragging.

    Granting the Martins may have had privacy concerns about sharing the pin, there could be no justification for attacking the Sanford PD while withholding the fact of their own non-cooperation.


    Parent

    Revelation? (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by ks on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:24:10 PM EST
    No.  That's rank speculation.

    The quote in your link only says they asked for it and Martin said he would contact his lawyer before releasing that information.  

    Based on that you conclude:

    If this is true, the Martins arranged to find Dee Dee before the Sanford PD, then used their failure to find Dee Dee to accuse them of foot-dragging.

    Ridiculous.

    Parent

    Agreed (none / 0) (#42)
    by bmaz on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:03:46 PM EST
    On hundred percent.  And when I knew only the initial hype, I was thinking "well, they could have arrested".  And, yes, they could have.  Turns out though, they were appropriate in NOT doing so.  And that is without determining whether there was or was not later grounds for arrest (I still maintain there was NOT as to the crime charged, but for a lesser of manslaughter, there might be at least probable cause to arrest - even if not evidence to convict).

    Parent
    bmaz- (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:07:47 AM EST
    If there's not a real shot at convincing an impartial jury beyond a reasonable doubt that this shooting was not done in self defense against a real risk of serious bodily injury or death, prosecutors are not supposed to subject the suspect to trial.

    Zimmerman and his family have already spent 15k in bail fee money they won't get back, have had to pay for an alternate residence, and he's been unable to work, though the later two are mostly the result of black mob threatened attacks.  

    Parent

    Jecalyn-- (none / 0) (#179)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:04:11 AM EST
     
    I'm not sure there is a problem other than that the media, at the behest of a public relations firm hired by lawyers for the Martin family, created one.

    Exactly.  

    I smelled a race baiting lynching of Zimmerman as soon as the Crump lead presumably mostly Julison Communications performed incredibly misleading media campaign began.  The first obvious thing was the pictures they kept running of Trayvon looked like an about 12 year old kid, not a 17 year old high school junior, unless he was a midget or something.  

    Parent

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#48)
    by Darby on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:13:08 PM EST
    I didn't see this covered, sorry if I missed it, but I thought there was another difference with syg. With syg you can be granted immunity from a trial, both civil and criminal.
    Whereas self defense where syg doesn't apply is used as a defense argument  in a trial.

    Parent
    Darby, that's correct (none / 0) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:33:59 PM EST
    stand your ground provides immunity from prosecution. Self defense is an affirmative defense raised at trial. One can also argue immunity under stand your ground at trial (should the judge refuse to dismiss on that basis before trial.) The jury would not be told the judge refused to dismiss.

    Parent
    Jeralyn, do you agree with me that on (none / 0) (#138)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:07:56 AM EST
    present evidence the judge is likely to grant Zimmerman immunity from criminal or civil trial on self defense grounds, at an immunity hearing?

    Parent
    Well technically that's true of any action in self (none / 0) (#183)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:09:57 AM EST
    defense where you're not the aggressor, including when as in this case the evidence points to the SYG clause being unnecessary since  the defendant couldn't flee in any case.

    Parent
    I think Florida's self defense statutes are (none / 0) (#123)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:23:11 AM EST
    excellent, a model of clarity, well balanced and fair.  I wish every state's read identically.

    Parent
    It's a very circular argument... (none / 0) (#150)
    by magster on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:39:23 AM EST
    ... Martin was entitled to defend himself from some guy stalking him. So is Zimmerman allowed to defend himself from someone (Martin) who is legally defending himself? Sounds like the old west.

    You ask how far back does the chain of causation go, and was the police conclusion that it was Zimmerman being the aggressor seems reasonable, or at least where the issue at trial goes. Was Zimmerman getting out of the car after pursuing Martin an aggressive act that provoked a confrontation, or did Martin cross a line by attacking Zimmerman when Z got out of the car.

    And, the discovery and your posts have convinced me that 2nd degree murder charge is preposterous. That's just an overcharge to bully Zimmerman into a plea deal.

    Parent

    It's not circular when properly analysed under (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:39:56 AM EST
    Florida law.

    ... Martin was entitled to defend himself from some guy stalking him.

    Trayvon wasn't entitled to commit assault and battery and then aggravated felonious assault and battery on someone who thought him suspicious for a variety of reasons, got out of his car, and  sought to keep him in sight, no.

     

    You ask how far back does the chain of causation go, and was the police conclusion that it was Zimmerman being the aggressor seems reasonable, or at least where the issue at trial goes.

    The Sanford police and the county prosecutor did not conclude that there was good evidence that Zimmerman was the aggressor, no.  That sure was Team Trayvon's Crump and the PR firm Julison Communication spinning of the media narrative that the media accepted eagerly as a "great white racist defendant" tale, but that doesn't make it true.  The preponderance of the evidence, most of it circumstantial, is on the side of Trayvon having started the physical fight.  

     

    And, the discovery and your posts have convinced me that 2nd degree murder charge is preposterous. That's just an overcharge to bully Zimmerman into a plea deal.

    It is preposterous, yes.  

    However there would only rightfully be a conviction for manslaughter if the jury believed beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman's fear of great bodily harm wasn't reasonable in the circumstances.  A concussion or coma is certainly great bodily harm and having you head repeatedly bashed against concrete as Zimmerman claims, the position of Trayvon's body when the police arrived, Zimmerman's wet back and bloody back of his head, and John's eyewitness testimony all make more than plausible.  

    Zimmerman will I predict be granted immunity from criminal trial and civil suit at a self defense immunity hearing.


    Parent

    Good point, Addison (none / 0) (#9)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:43:04 PM EST
    I wondered why Serino seemed so firm in his statement that "the evidence backed Zimmerman's story", when,as this document dump reveals he was the one who pushed for a manslaughter charge.

    If I recall correctly the Florida "Stand Your Ground" law is only 5 or 6 years old, and Sanfords Police Department sees only 3 or 4 murders a year on average. Serino might not have been sure whether he should charge or not and thus opted for "manslaughter" (which I think is probably the only fair charge one could bring against Zimmerman anyway) and was overruled by Wolfinger who was more familiar with the law.

    Thus neither one necessarily lied, and , as a matter of law, Wolfinger's interpretation might have been better.

    Even though I agree with the GOALS of the Stand Your Ground law, there's no doubt it should be tightened up some to give the cops more clues on when an arrest is warranted and when it is not.

    Parent

    Seems to me Serino may have felt that the... (none / 0) (#92)
    by CuriousInAz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 01:48:29 AM EST
    ...evidence did infact support Zimmerman's version of events.  But that Serino  also felt that Zimmerman should have never exited his car and thus could have avoided the whole situation.

    Parent
    Zimmerman exiting his car (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:47:50 AM EST
    has nothing to do with nothing at this point.  He exited his car.  Trayvon Martin exited his house. That makes them equally responsible or something.  It's all silly and his nothing to do with the shooting.

    Parent
    Especially if (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:51:57 AM EST
    the story Tracy Martin told that the police told him - Trayvon ran from Zimmerman and then hid around the corner and waited for Zimmerman to come to him - is true.

    Parent
    Tracy Martin was repeating ... (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:54:31 AM EST
    .... what the police stated was Zimmerman's version of events.

    Parent
    So? (none / 0) (#158)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:13:12 AM EST
    You think the police had a different story they made up?

    Parent
    No - just pointing out ... (none / 0) (#161)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:20:11 AM EST
    ... that this was not Martin's version of events or the police's version of events, but merely what Martin said was the police's paraphrasing of Zimmerman's version of events.

    Parent
    Missing the point (none / 0) (#164)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:24:21 AM EST
    the point was, that if that version of events is true - i.e. that Martin hid and waited on Zimmerman to catch up to him, and then punched Zimmerman as he went for his phone, then many people are going to have to do a lot of rethinking about this case.

    I only mentioned Martin's father, because that's where I had first seen that scenario put forward, and that's what I posted yesterday.  Hadn't seen that aspect discussed at all around here.

    Parent

    So if we just accept ... (none / 0) (#172)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:43:32 AM EST
    .... Zimmerman's version of events as true, then "many people are going to have to do a whole lot of rethinking about this case"?

    Heh.

    BTW - If you're only positing that this is only Zimmerman's version of events (as opposed a version put forth or adopted by the police or Tracy Martin), why would you say:

    Tracy Martin needs to clear that up. Those are his interpretations of what was told to him very soon after the shooting.

    Why would Martin have to "clear up" Zimmerman's version of events?  How is that even possible?  Moreover, why would you say:

    Since it doesn't put his son in the very best light, he would be as accurate as possible, or at least, trying to make it as good for his son as possible.  But hey - if you want to doubt his words, be my guest.

    Those aren't his words.  He's simply restating what the police told him were Zimmerman's words.

    Parent

    Hmmm... context is EVERYTHING (none / 0) (#174)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:53:51 AM EST
    My first comment that you quoted was in response to this:

    Uh huh (none / 0) (#39)
    by ks on Thu May 17, 2012 at 02:37:25 PM EST

    Nice sidestep.  Of course he couldn't be accurately recounting what Serino told him.  I guess we'll find out when that actual statements come out.

    So yes, my comment makes sense in context - the comment was snark that maybe Tracy Martin didn't accurately recount what the police told him. But you take it OUT of context so you can do a "gotcha", except, wait, it doesn't really work.  Nice try, though.

    Funny also how my post about the family starting the whole Trayvon was 6'3" meme was ignored, but then, that doesn't allow for more "gotcha".  Guess the family didn't know what they were talking about.

    Parent

    Context IS everything (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:07:46 AM EST
    My first comment that you quoted was in response to this Uh huh (none / 0) (#39)
    by ks...

    No, it wasn't.

    Well then (none / 0) (#36) by jbindc on Thu May 17, 2012 at 02:31:11 PM EST Tracy Martin needs to clear that up. Those are his interpretations of what was told to him very soon after the shooting.

    Unless you're able to post something in response to a post made after yours.

    Nice try, though.

    BTW -

    Funny also how my post about the family starting the whole Trayvon was 6'3" meme was ignored, but then, that doesn't allow for more "gotcha".  Guess the family didn't know what they were talking about.

    Your post was ignored because it doesn't say who  gave them the height estimate (father, mother, aunt, third cousin?) or than someone from Martin's family.  Moreover, as you acknowledged in your post, the Miami Herald has gotten many facts wrong in this story.  But suddenly the "possibly" qualifier is gone and the responsibility placed on the Martin family.

    Heh.

    Parent

    Heh is right (none / 0) (#186)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:14:35 AM EST
    Yeah - my SECOND comment was in response to the comment above.  My first was in response to a ridiculous and longer post which said exactly the same thing - you got me.  You win. Congratulations.  Wanna medal?

    But the fact remains, you still can't counter the actual scenario, can you?  That Martin waited around a corner for Zimmerman and possibly ambushed him. You know - the actual case  So, instead, you are focused on what commenter said what in what order.

    Congratulations again!

    Parent

    I'm focused on it ... (none / 0) (#200)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:51:50 AM EST
    ... because you're attributing responsibility for those words to Martin, suggesting the false dichotomy of either 1) don't believe him, or 2) believe that Martin was "lying in wait" for Zimmerman.

    But the fact remains, you still can't counter the actual scenario, can you?  That Martin waited around a corner for Zimmerman and possibly ambushed him. You know - the actual case  So, instead, you are focused on what commenter said what in what order.

    Of course I can't, but that wasn't my point.  How can you counter something that's prefaced with "possibly"?  That's the great thing about that word.  Virtually anything is "possible" ...

    Parent

    sorry (none / 0) (#157)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:00:49 AM EST
    didn't mean to make it sound like I was calling you silly.  


    Parent
    Tightened up in what way? (none / 0) (#139)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:11:13 AM EST
    The only thing that I think might benefically be tightened up is what constitutes "great bodily harm", though I suspect that case law is a better route to that.  

    Parent
    any chance that.... (none / 0) (#6)
    by CuriousInAz on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:36:02 PM EST
    you can post the complete 'DeeDee' as perhaps a youtube audio?

    purdy please?

    it's probably too large (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:48:14 PM EST
    for You Tube and I no longer have an account with them. I will listen to it (probably tomorrow since it's long.) I think Crumps interview of Dee Dee is also included since there are two audio calls for W-8 who is DeeDee, but I haven't yet had time to listen to them.

    I'll let you know after I've heard them if I think it would be helpful to have the entire calls posted somewhere.  Thanks for the "purdy" -- that helps!

    Parent

    full DeeDee audio... (none / 0) (#19)
    by lawstudent on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:10:29 PM EST
    ...is on the side of the page in the NYT article you link at the top of this post in the multimedia section.  It is over 20 minutes long.  

    Parent
    Great, now I (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:37:25 PM EST
    won't think about uploading it somewhere!

    Parent
    Question about DeeDee Interview (none / 0) (#38)
    by RickyJ on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:57:37 PM EST
    I found it hard to make out what she was saying. A transcript would help.  At one point did she say that Trayvon was right at his father's house but kept moving?

    Parent
    that was... (none / 0) (#94)
    by CuriousInAz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 02:19:12 AM EST
    ...painful to listen to.

    Parent
    Dee Dee is not a lawyer or an english major (none / 0) (#110)
    by willisnewton on Fri May 18, 2012 at 03:31:08 AM EST
    And yes, she is difficult to understand.  She is guided through her emotional deposition rather well, however and appears to me to be saying that when Trayvon had stopped running, and their call had reconnected after having dropped (while he was near the mailboxes) that Trayvon felt he no longer needed to run the rest of the way home (as she was telling him to) by virtue of being close (enough) to his home.  

    I'll admit, parsing her sentences more fully might be a task for an expert at trial.  

    Of course she has no way to truly know where Trayvon was at at this time, and Trayvon isn't committing a crime if he were to have been lying to her as he was certainly not under oath. He could have been very far from his home, for all she knows - but if the goal here is to establish what the LIKELY occurrence was, in good faith on the principal of general curiosity I'd hazard to guess that TM had run until he was firmly out of sight of the car, and decided that was far enough.  The car was on the road, and so he left the road and felt satisfied.  It's my assumption that he ran to a point near where he died a few minutes later.  

    These events didn't take place in a vacuum, but the whereabouts of the participants aren't going to be fully established beyond a reasonable doubt easily.  George's statements to the Sanford PD will likely include some level of detail we currently lack, but of course at this time he's lost sight of TM.  But his words will speak to where TM was NOT, I assume.  

    And Trayvon had no duty to retreat at this point, if that is where you are going with this.  And he was indeed easily close enough to have made it home in a short time, but what we know for certain is that he did not.  Nor did George Zimmerman retreat effectively, were that his intention at the time.  Then of course we can all discuss "retreat from what?" since up to this time the two had only a casual relation that is difficult to characterize.  Were they already in some sort of confrontation or not?  IANAL, nor do I claim to know or even have an opinion, to be frank.  I'm curious what others think, though.  

    As to the idea that he may have "doubled back," I'll leave that to someone else to find a way Dee Dee established proof of this, or how that corroborates any idea the defense may present that demonstrates or corroborates the contention that Trayvon was an aggressor.  

    Parent

    Willis (none / 0) (#115)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 07:08:12 AM EST
    I am not sure why you are talking about Martin's duty to retreat. I think the only place duty to retreat comes in is as part of a SYG defense to a criminal charge. Therefore the idea that Martin had any kind of legal duty to retreat is meaningless. I hear crump talking about Martin 'standing his ground', which also seems meaningless. Only if Martin had killed Z could  it come into play as a defense for Martin.

    Parent
    Deedee deposition (none / 0) (#203)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:01:40 PM EST
    I listened to the DeeDee clip.

    There isn't too much new on it that's of any importance.

    One thing though that is important is that she says he got very close to his house at one point which is why he said he wasn't going to run again as DeeDee says she was urging.

    She's pretty unclear about what happens next until she reports them close to each other and Trayvon demanded she says "what are you following me for?"  to which she repeats here as she said on the tape that Crump played for Guzman of the local ABC news "what are you doing around here?"  I think she may well be covering up that Trayvon had hidden himself and was waiting for Zimmerman to arrive to ambush him, which is Zimmerman's version.  If he didn't want to do confront Zimmerman why didn't he just go inside his house and lock the door?

    It also seemed to me that the prosecutor lead his deposed witness a great deal, and also that he didn't probe the crucial bits of time between when Trayvon was very near his house and when the verbal exchange and then fight began.

    DeeDees conclusion that Zimmerman must have started the physical fight also seems to be based on nothing more than what she wants to believe.   Her saying that she heard a voice saying get off me and that it was Trayvon's also didn't sound credible to me.  She'd previously said the call was cut off right after Zimmerman responded after being challenged with "what are you doing around here?"  I think that bit was fabricated and the prosecutor didn't probe it much either.


    Parent

    Speaking of facts... (none / 0) (#7)
    by ks on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:36:19 PM EST
    According to the ME's autopsy report, Trayvon Martin was 71 inckes tall (5'11") and weighed 158 lbs.

    Why thank you, ks (none / 0) (#15)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:57:45 PM EST
    For making the point again that Trayvon was taller than Zimmerman and weighed enough in comparison to him to stand up in a fight.

    No little boy here.

    Parent

    You're welcome (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by ks on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:16:50 PM EST
    Glad to put the "6'3" football player" meme to rest.

    Oh wait, you not thanking me for that....

    Parent

    Exactly n/t (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Yman on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:50:30 PM EST
    Nope, not thanking you for that (none / 0) (#33)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:52:11 PM EST
    Because I never said it or even caught it as a meme around here. If you wanted to put what I believe to rest, well you've put the 6'1 football player to rest , because that's how tall I believed Trayvon to be. So I was off by 2 inches, but my point is I don't see much how it changes anything. It's been known that:
    A. Trayvon was signficantly taller than GZ, usually given as from 6 to 8 inches, now revealed to be 4. Not as impressive a difference, but I'm willing to bet it was still quite obvious to both people when they got close enough to confront each other.
    B. Trayvon didn't weigh as much as GZ but they were within anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds of each other. That would seem to be confirmed here.
    for quite some time.

    Anyway, it's always nice when you stick to the facts, so congrats!

    Parent

    Sure... (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by ks on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:03:20 PM EST
    Still can't help yourself, huh?  "Significantly taller" now becomes "quite obvious..." 42lbs now becomes "anywhere from 10 to 40 lbs".  Amusing.  

    Parent
    You must have missed it (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Yman on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:03:25 PM EST
    It's been discussed here several times - quite recently, in fact.  The theory being that Zimmerman would never have confronted Martin or (in the alternative) would be at a severe disadvantage in a fight due to the height difference.  Martin has been described several times as a "football player", despite the fact that he played youth football.

    Of course, now that we know that Zimmerman was only 3 inches shorter than Martin and 27 pounds heavier, it is nice to put that to rest.

    Would that everyone would "stick to the facts" ...

    Parent

    Yep (none / 0) (#46)
    by ks on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:10:36 PM EST
    And that 185 lb weight was when he was booked in April which was after the shooting in Feb.  Anne didn't provide a link but I suspect the 200lb weight might be more accurate because it was taken at the time of the event.  

    Parent
    "suspect" is the key word (none / 0) (#53)
    by Rand11 on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:25:42 PM EST
    the night of the shooting, SPD might have measured and weighed Zimmerman or SPD might have taken the information directly from his license (which leaves open the possibility his weight was not up to date).

    Parent
    the 200 pounds could have (none / 0) (#55)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:35:39 PM EST
    been taken from his drivers' license. Do we know anyone weighed him that first night at the police station?

    Parent
    That's fair (none / 0) (#57)
    by ks on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:42:30 PM EST
    You and Rand make the same good point.  It's certainly possible.  Maybe Anne has a link and we will see.

    Parent
    Indeed (none / 0) (#128)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:44:09 AM EST
    In fact, during the period between the shooting and his arrest/booking, Zimmerman's former lawyer reported he was very stressed and losing weight.  So he weighed 185 lbs. at his booking, after what his lawyer said was a period where he lost weight.

    Parent
    Do we know that (none / 0) (#131)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:51:51 AM EST
    Zimmerman was weighed on the evening of the shooting?
    Maybe Zimmerman was asked his weight(which then of course it is presumably a good estimate) or it came from his drivers license.

    I don't know if the police weigh you unless you are being charged with a crime.

    Parent

    Which Weight is Which? (none / 0) (#49)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:17:25 PM EST
    tsk tsk, Yman.
    5'11 is 4 inches taller than  5'7, not 3.
    And I was talking about ranges of heights one can find claimed by various people.
    I've seen anywhere from 6'4 to 6'1 UNTIL this evidence came out which cleared it up. I believed 6'1.
    And the weight? Well, how heavy did you think Zimmerman was when you saw the initial "jumpsuit" photos from 5 or 6 years ago? 230? 250?
    Are you going to try to deny that people were all over the place with George Zimmerman's and TM's weight even after we got more recent pictures of the two?

    These people were within 4 inches of height and 50 pounds of weight, with each one having an advantage in one dimension or the other. Both were in some sort of shape, though I'm willing to bet TM was in better physical shape than GZ.

    Screams "Fair fight" to me.

    Parent

    bringing (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by ding7777 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:27:16 AM EST
    a can of iced tea to a gunfight changes the idea of
    "fair fight"

    Parent
    Fair fight ... (1.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:17:30 AM EST
     
    bringing a can of iced tea to a gunfight changes the idea of "fair fight"  

    Fair fight has nothing to do with the law.  

    What Trayvon brought to the fight was aggression,a strong and in shape bodiy and arms, the element of surprise,the cement sidewalk, and the evident desire to do Zimmerman great bodily harm after he had clearly prevailed in the fight he physically started, a preponderance of the evidence indicates.  

    I predict Zimmerman will get immunity and his self defense immunity hearing, from both going before a jury at trial and from civil suit.

    Parent

    Crikey. (5.00 / 3) (#191)
    by Dr Molly on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:30:39 AM EST
    How in the world is this kind of biased rank speculation allowed here?

    What Trayvon brought to the fight was aggression

    the evident desire to do Zimmerman great bodily harm after he had clearly prevailed in the fight he physically started


    Parent
    Because (none / 0) (#206)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:03:29 PM EST
    Trayvon didn't stop after he had Zimmerman on the ground with a bloody nose and on top of him.

    You don't call that aggression??

    Well I do.

    Parent

    You forgot one part (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:06:07 PM EST
    the evident desire to do Zimmerman great bodily harm after he had clearly prevailed in the fight he physically started

    That would be speculation.

    Parent

    "Tsk, Tsk"? (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:50:26 AM EST
    5'11 is 4 inches taller than  5'7, not 3.

    Very good ... of course, if you click on the link I provided, you'll note that Zimmerman was actually weighed and measured during his intake, and he was 5'8", as opposed to 5'7".  As noted above, we also know that Martin was 5'11" and 158 lbs.  Therefore, we know Martin was 3 inches taller.

    I've seen anywhere from 6'4 to 6'1 UNTIL this evidence came out which cleared it up. I believed 6'1.

    Good for you, only the subject wasn't what you personally believed.

    And the weight? Well, how heavy did you think Zimmerman was when you saw the initial "jumpsuit" photos from 5 or 6 years ago? 230? 250?

    Don't know - don't care.  His weight 5 years ago is irrelevant.

    Are you going to try to deny that people were all over the place with George Zimmerman's and TM's weight even after we got more recent pictures of the two?

    Try reading my post again.  My point was explained very clearly.  No need to create straw arguments, although I understand they're easier to knock down.


    These people were within 4 inches of height and 50 pounds of weight, with each one having an advantage in one dimension or the other. Both were in some sort of shape, though I'm willing to bet TM was in better physical shape than GZ.

    Screams "Fair fight" to me.

    Again, read my post ... or go back and look at some of the very recent threads that you missed, which is what we were discussing.  People were arguing that it made no sense for Zimmerman to confront Martin, because Martin was so much taller.  They were also claiming this "football player" had a big advantage in a fight because of his large (heh) height/reach advantage.

    Glad to put those myths to bed.

    BTW - Interesting that you consider a 50 lb. weight difference a "fair fight" - particularly considering that in boxing (at Martin's weight), the weight classes are divided in 6-8 pound increments.

    Parent

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by ks on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:18:22 AM EST
    BTW - Interesting that you consider a 50 lb. weight difference a "fair fight" - particularly considering that in boxing (at Martin's weight), the weight classes are divided in 6-8 pound increments.

    Remember the claim that somebody made that "people who know..." told him that height was the key factor in a fight?  I had to laugh because the real key factor is weight differential.  Every "combat" sport (boxing, MMA, martial arts, wrestling, etc.) uses weight classes not height classes.  

    Parent

    Except in the heavyweight class (none / 0) (#148)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:33:55 AM EST
    Street fights, are, of course, different than organized, professional ones, so comparing weight classes doesn't really fit this scenario. But, as in most things in life, taller people still have the advantage over shorter people.

    A taller person will have longer reach and stiking distance,for example, and can inflict a lot of damage when sitting on top of the shorter person - it's much easier to do things, like be further away and punch someone and break their nose.

    Parent

    C'mon now, you're reaching (none / 0) (#156)
    by ks on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:59:11 AM EST
    People who are in the hurt business for a living are divided into weight categories so obviously it's key factor certainly more so than height.

    A 3 inch taller person will not necessarily have a longer reach and if either of the parties were "sitting on top" of the other they would have distinct advantage because of their position not their reach.  Also, hand speed is more of a factor than reach in terms of who can strike first.  It really doesn't matter (within reason) how long your reach is if you're slow.

    Anyway, I'm glad you have moved on from the football player thing.  As an aside, I think the HW class will eventually become HW and SuperHW (like in the lower classes) and CW will probably move up a bit.  I think the only reason it hasn't happened yet is the tradition surrounding the HW division.

    Parent

    I can not believe (5.00 / 1) (#215)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 18, 2012 at 01:58:10 PM EST
    you all are having a pissing match about height and weight and comparing these two to boxers or mixed martial arts athletes.
    IMO: Zimmerman, shorter, fatter, out of shape.  Martin: younger, thinner, more athletic, taller. Was it a fair fight?  WHO CARES?  All that matters is who started it, who had the upper hand and was Zimmerman justified in pulling his gun.


    Parent
    Again (none / 0) (#162)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:21:06 AM EST
    There is no cap for heavyweight classes, so no, the heavier boxers are NOT "divided into weight" -they just have to be over 200 pounds.  So in theory a 400 pound man could box a 201 pound man. They might change it, but so far, professional fighting doesn't seem to find that weight matters that much for all their competitors.

    A 3 inch taller person will not necessarily have a longer reach and if either of the parties were "sitting on top" of the other they would have distinct advantage because of their position not their reach.

    They would have a distinct advantage because they could reach the head of the person they were sitting on and not be subject to getting hit in the head back. Some of that is positioning, but if you're going to tell me that Martin had a shorter reach than Zimmerman, I'd say that's unlikely.

    Parent

    Which might be slightly relevant ... (none / 0) (#175)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:53:57 AM EST
    There is no cap for heavyweight classes, so no, the heavier boxers are NOT "divided into weight" -they just have to be over 200 pounds.  So in theory a 400 pound man could box a 201 pound man.

    ... if Martin was a "heavyweight", as opposed to a middleweight - 4 classes under heavyweight.

    They might change it, but so far, professional fighting doesn't seem to find that weight matters that much for all their competitors.

    For all their competitors?  No.  For competitors with weights comparable to Zimmerman and Martin?

    Oh yeah.

    Parent

    Oh yeah (none / 0) (#177)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:01:41 AM EST
    Since this is street fighting we're talking about, and not under the Marquees of Queensbury rules, it's really hard to say that Martin's height wasn't a distinct advantage over Zimmerman.

    But I know you are going to go on and on about this because it muddies the original point - Martin may have 1) had the advantage by either surprise attack when he hid or when Zimmerman went for his phone 2) he was taller and 3)ended up sitting on top of Zimmerman, with unrestricted access and a harder time fighting back.

    Parent

    Read carfeully (none / 0) (#178)
    by ks on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:03:41 AM EST
    I didn't say the HW division had a cap. I said that it probably will be divided by weight someday like the lower classes currently are and the reason it probably hasn't been done already is the tradition of the HW division.

    Your sitting on top thing is dubious.  Ask "the people who know" and they'll likely tell you that given the height difference between the two, that whoever was on top would have a greater advantage because because of their position as opposed to some difference in reach based on height.

    Parent

    Wait a second. (none / 0) (#180)
    by ks on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:05:46 AM EST
    "They might change it, but so far, professional fighting doesn't seem to find that weight matters that much for all their competitors.

    What?  Of course they do.  Why do they have weight classes then?  You are really! reaching.

    Parent

    None of this matters... (3.00 / 2) (#212)
    by redwolf on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:12:51 PM EST
    Considering the total lack of any signs that Martin was physically attacked while there are tons of signs that Zimmerman was.  It's clear that Martin attacked Zimmerman at this point.

    Parent
    Wonderful (none / 0) (#159)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:14:35 AM EST
    Totally forgot about strength and speed did we?

    Which serves to invalidate your analysis.

    Parent

    No, it doesn't (5.00 / 0) (#166)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:32:37 AM EST
    My "analysis" was debunking the myth that Zimmerman wouldn't pursue or confront Martin because of the drastic height difference, or that the "football player" Martin had a huge height/reach advantage over Zimmerman.  Like I said, ...

    ... put to bed.

    BTW - I didn't forget about anything.  We know Martin and Zimmerman's height and weight - we don't know variables such as speed, reflexes, strength, etc.  What was it you said, again about "sticking to the facts"?

    Parent

    We're on to the next meme (5.00 / 0) (#176)
    by ks on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:55:34 AM EST
    "Strength and speed"?  Total guesswork, This ought to be interesting.

    Parent
    Of course Yman, KS (none / 0) (#190)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:29:58 AM EST
    Of course, silly one.
    It's ALL guessing.
    I just stated a fact that Trayvon had a height advantage and Zimmerman a weight advantage and that they seemed evenly matched in a street fight to me esp. given that Martin was younger and probably in better shape being a football player.

    It's all guessing. But there is no "myth" being "put to bed" that Zimmerman wasn't in physical danger from Trayvon, because as his injuries prove, he clearly was.

    Whether this danger was enough for a SYG or self defense claim is really all that is relevant at this point.

    Parent

    "Silly one"? (none / 0) (#204)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:01:50 PM EST
    Of course, silly one.
    It's ALL guessing.

    No, it's not.  We now know their relative heights/weights, putting to bed the myth that: 1) Zimmerman wouldn't have followed/confronted Martin due to the extreme (heh) height difference, or 2) the "football player" had a big advantage in a fight because of his large (heh) height/reach advantage.  (BTW - You do know that Martin played youth football until his early teens, right?  If we're going back several years, should we compare the "football player" to the "bouncer"?))

    It's all guessing. But there is no "myth" being "put to bed" that Zimmerman wasn't in physical danger from Trayvon, because as his injuries prove, he clearly was.

    That's the nice thing about straw "myths".  Much easier to construct and destroy.

    Parent

    Well, it seems we both agree on something! (none / 0) (#209)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:06:53 PM EST
    Zimmerman was in physical danger from Trayvon, and Trayvon was in physical danger from Zimmerman even without counting the gun.

    Hurray! Something no longer available to argue about.

    Parent

    Blame the Miami Herald (none / 0) (#133)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:02:06 AM EST
    or even possibly, members of Martin's family.

    Several days passed before police released a report with an account that said Zimmerman had blood on his nose and the back of his head, fueling suspicion that the department was attempting to bolster Zimmerman's story and defend the lack of an arrest.

    The report listed the height and weight of every person, including the 911 callers. The only person whose size is not noted is Zimmerman. At 5-foot-9, Zimmerman was much shorter but heavier than Trayvon. The report listed Trayvon at 6 foot and 160 pounds, though his family said he was actually 6-foot-3 and weighed at most 150 pounds.

    Of course, the Herald got many things wrong about this story apparently - like about the earphones, the amount of money etc.

    Parent

    Police report shows (none / 0) (#18)
    by Anne on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:08:34 PM EST
    Zimmerman as 5'7" and 200 lbs.

    Parent
    the ultimate question (none / 0) (#14)
    by lawstudent on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:50:43 PM EST
    Getting out of one's car is not a crime. Either is following someone in public. Using a "but for" analysis, why didn't the officer conclude that had Trayvon not smacked Zimmerman, he would still be alive? That appears to be a far more immediate cause of the shooting than Zimmerman's getting out of his car.

    Seems to me the most immediate cause of Martin's death was the bullet Zimmerman fired at his chest.  The only question is whether Zimmerman was justified in doing so.  Knowing that there was a physical confrontation, and knowing that Zimmerman was injured may help us towards the answer to that question, but isn't the biggest question here whether Zimmerman reasonably feared he was at risk of serious bodily harm or death?  

    lawstudent (2.00 / 0) (#189)
    by Doug1111 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:24:57 AM EST
     
    sn't the biggest question here whether Zimmerman reasonably feared he was at risk of serious bodily harm or death?  

    Yes.  And the answer is yes he plainly could reasonably fear that.  Even a single hard bashing of the head against concrete can give someone a serious concussion, coma or even death.

    The other important though less important question is who started the physical fight. If the judge believes Zimmerman probably did he'll have to go to trial before a jury and won't get civil lawsuit immunity.  If the judge thinks Trayvon probably did, then he gets immunity from both a jury trial and a civil lawsuit.

    The weight of the mostly circumstantial evidence I think O'Mara will be able to show is that Trayvon started it.  We don't even have any good evidence that Zimmerman landed a single blow on Trayvon.  There's mounds of evidence on the other hand that Trayvon did.  

    Parent

    From previous posts on the subject (5.00 / 0) (#199)
    by CST on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:47:10 AM EST
    It was stated that in the Stand Your Ground hearing the burden of proof is on the defendent.  It's the opposite of a trial in court.  The evidence has to be clear cut in his favor.  It's not about what the judge "probably" thinks happened.

    Parent
    Links (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by Addison on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:56:01 AM EST
    Jeralyn:

    A defendant charged with a crime who wants to raise Stand your Ground files a motion to dismiss claiming stand your ground immunizes him from prosecution...

    A hearing is held before trial. The burden is on the defendant to prove by a preponderance of evidence that stand your ground immunity applies.

    The judge weighs the facts. If the judge agrees the defendant has shown stand your ground immunity applies by a preponderance of evidence, the charges are dismissed. The defendant can't be prosecuted.

    Judge Hirsch's decision in State of Florida v. Quentin Wyche, as linked on TalkLeft by Jeralyn:

    A defendant claiming immunity under "Stand Your Ground" bears the burden of proof. See Dennis, 51 So.3d at 459-60 (citing Peterson v. State, 983 So.2d 27, 29-30, (Fla. 1st DCA 2008) (citing People v. Guenther, 740 P.2d 971,976 (Colo. 1987)) (explaining that the defendant must prove his entitlement to immunity by a preponderance of the evidence)


    Parent
    That is One of the Two Ultimate Questions (none / 0) (#25)
    by RickyJ on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:31:47 PM EST
    The two questions the jury is to answer are:

    1. Is it reasonable that Zimmerman didn't initiate or threaten to initiate a physical assault on Martin?

    2. Is it reasonable that Zimmerman shot Martin because if he didn't, he himself might die?

    If the jury's answer is yes to both, then Zimmerman in not guilty of manslaughter or anything higher; it is key that the criterion is reasonableness, not certainty.  So far, I haven't become aware of any evidence that the answer to 1 or 2 might be no. I have the opinion that the only way to show the answer to 1 might be no is to have many witnesses testify, without contradiction, in support of his family's contention, that Trayvon was a gentle young man who never assaulted anybody.

    Parent
    The testimony that has Zimmerman (none / 0) (#29)
    by lousy1 on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:46:38 PM EST
     defenseless and pleading for help at least 12 times while being pounded, "in MMA" ( Mixed Martial Arts or probably Brazilian Jujitsu style) would be sufficient to dispel the contention of TM as mother Teresa.

     

    Parent

    And WHO, praytell ... (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Yman on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:53:53 PM EST
    ... is making such a silly/straw comparison?

    Oh, ... wait ...

    Parent

    Not mother Teresa (none / 0) (#62)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:05:12 AM EST
    but I have heard from Crump and the Martins how they know Martin would never start a fight, how they somehow know Zimmerman was the aggressor.

    From Trayvon's brother

    "It didn't sound like my brother at all. (That) my brother attacked him and did all this stuff. It doesn't sound like him at all. He wasn't confrontational or violent."

    But Fulton said his reading of the evidence and 911 tapes indicated Martin "tried to get away from the situation. He wasn't violent. For him to actually jump on someone he doesn't even know, to me that's not him. He's smarter than that."

    Even tonight Crump is still claiming that Trayvon was in the fight of his life and defending himself while pummeling Zimmerman. Even though the autopsy shows no blows, bruises etc (other than the obvious fatal shot).

    Parent

    As expected (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by ks on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:20:36 AM EST
    His family, who knew him better than anybody here, say positive things about him.

    Zimmerman's family has been quite positive in their statements about GZ as well.

    Parent

    You are so busy with getting personal (none / 0) (#77)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:41:49 AM EST
    that you keeping missing the point.
    Martin's family has said he is too non violent and would never have done the things witnessed saw him doing (pummeling Zimmerman martial arts style, while Zimmerman screams for help and is unable to even strike a blow to Martin).

    Focus on the evidence

    Parent

    That's a strange assertion (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by ks on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:29:02 AM EST
    I haven't gotten personal with you nor did I miss the point.   It's not surprising in the least that TM's family would support him and say that he wasn't violent one, because they are his family and two, if you want to look at the evidence, there was no prior known history of him being violent.

    Perhaps you are the one who should focus on the evidence and, also, making better arguments.

    Parent

    Can you explain (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:37:28 AM EST
    than how your 'as expected' comment has anything to with the facts or evidence and isn't getting personal? Same with  telling me to make better arguments.

    Seems your MO here is to be rude and condescending to anyone with ideas that don't mesh with yours. And yes, I am now getting personal too.

    Parent

    Sure (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by ks on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:47:58 AM EST
    My "As expected" meant that it was "as expected" that the Martin and Zimmerman families would support and say nice things about their sons (which they both did) so you can't take much from that.

    You apparently think it was "getting personal" with you which, is an odd interpretation, and now you're off on a tangent about it and trying to pick a fight.

    Parent

    Are you privy to TM's biography? (none / 0) (#188)
    by lousy1 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:23:32 AM EST
    While I have not read of any accounts of him being arrested I do remember an entry on his Myspace page from another individual which implied he punched a transit driver.

    I have no idea if Martin actually had a history of violence. But his family is hardly an unbiased source.

    Almost all men have at least one experience of violent confrontation.  Most of them would not continue to pummel a pinned contestant pleading for help.  

     If Martin had incidents of violence in his past
    there are pressures that would disincline witnesses to come forward.

    Parent

    Trayvon Prior Contact With the Police (none / 0) (#198)
    by RickyJ on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:40:08 AM EST
    In the online evidence release, there is a paragraph called "Victimology".  There it is mention that in Nov. 2011 their was a "field contact" between Trayvon and the Miami Gardens Police Department.  Whatever it was seems to be redacted.

    Parent
    See if you can tell ... (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Yman on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:53:38 AM EST
    ... the difference between the original claim that I was responding to (someone was saying Martin was "Mother Theresa") and your claim, which is that Martin's family said he wasn't a violent person.

    Parent
    Ricky J. That's not right (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:54:50 PM EST
    The test is whether a reasonable person in Zimmerman's situation (being physically assaulted by Travon) would have feared he was in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.

    He didn't have to fear being killed, fearing serious bodily injury is enough.

    Your first question makes no sense and is a complete misstatement.

    If you are trying to get to the aggressor issue, the question is whether Zimmerman provoked Martin's use of force against him. There's no reasonableness issue there.

    If he provoked Martin's use of force against him, he can still claim self defense if he reasonably feared serious bodily injury or death. He just has the added burden of showing he had no opportunity to extricate himself. If he did provoke Martin's use of force against him, and he had an opportunity to extricate himself after being attacked, then he can't claim self-defense. But if he had no avenue of escape after being attacked, then his use of deadly force was justified as self-defense so long as he reasonably feared serious bodily injury or death.

    For any act of Zimmerman's to be considered provocation for the use of force, it had to be an act committed contemporaneously with the victim's use of force. It can't have happened earlier.

    If Zimmerman did not provoke the use of force by Martin against him, then Zimmerman had no duty to retreat -- so long his fear of serious bodily injury or death was reasonable -- meaning a reasonable person in his situation would fear serious bodily injury or death from Martin's attack. He can then use deadly force in response, without having to first try and extricate himself or use some lesser means than deadly force.


    Parent

    Thanks for Replying Jeralyn (none / 0) (#47)
    by RickyJ on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:12:22 PM EST
    When I say say reasonable, it refers to how strongly a juror has to believe a statement.  I will have to go over what you wrote tomorrow when I am much less tired to see if it really is different than what I meant to say.  Thanks again.

    Parent
    Correction to Previous Post on Meaning of Guilt (none / 0) (#145)
    by RickyJ on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:33:27 AM EST
    Jeralyn, my goal was to come up with a clear set of jury instructions.  In so many cases, what the judge gives is unintelligible.  They could also serve to focus the discussion on this blog since so many posts deal with matters not relevant to a guilty or not guilty decision.

    In order to get clear, unambiguous ones, I tried to put them in the form of a set of statements so that if a juror feels each is reasonable (not silly, ridiculous, vastly at odds with the evidence) then that juror should vote to acquit Zimmerman.  Of course, other forms are possible.  It would be even better to come with a set of statements that if only one is found to be reasonable, the juror should vote to acquit.  Maybe it would become clearer if they were put in the form of criteria for guilty rather than acquittal.  In any case, each statement should contain at most one negative and relate to one element of the charge.

    I will try to revise my pair of statements to conform with the points you raised.  If anybody has a clearer set of instructions for either finding guilty or not guilty to a manslaughter charge, please post.

    1. I believe it is reasonable that either Martin initiated a physical assault against Zimmerman or that Zimmerman tried to get away from a fight he started.

    2. I believe it reasonable that Zimmerman fired his gun because he reasonably thought it his only option to escape his own serious injury or death.

    Note that here reasonable relates twice to the jurors opinion and once to Zimmerman's opinion.  I hope that is not a cause for confusion.

    Parent
    Um (none / 0) (#44)
    by bmaz on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:07:58 PM EST
    I think that is exactly what she was saying. And the evidence does not appear to meet any burden for imposition of criminal liability.

    Parent
    Darn it (none / 0) (#45)
    by bmaz on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:09:30 PM EST
    That response was to "Lawstudent".  These comments are confusing for an old man!

    Parent
    I Notice that Trayvon (none / 0) (#22)
    by lousy1 on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:24:05 PM EST
    Had 40 dollars and a cigarette lighter in his possession. Did smoke tobacco?


    Don't know (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Yman on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:52:19 PM EST
    Why do you ask?

    Parent
    Why do you mention the $ amount? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Addison on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:25:48 PM EST
    Martin's father mentoned it (none / 0) (#127)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:43:41 AM EST
    But he said Trayvon had $22 in his pocket.  Where did the other $18 come from (or go)?

    Martin said the authorities told him his son's death was the result of an "altercation" between Trayvon and Zimmerman.

    "He got a bag of skittles, iced tea, his phone and $22 in his pocket. What kind of harm would he do to a 28-year-old, 250 pound man with that [a gun] in his pocket," Martin said.



    Parent
    Or go? (none / 0) (#136)
    by ks on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:04:44 AM EST
    He had $40 on him.  My guess would be that Tracy Martin gave Trayvon Martin some money and he already had some on him but the former didn't know that.  In any event, the total amount is nominal and doesn't seem to be a relevant matter.  

    Parent
    I didn't say it was relevant (none / 0) (#140)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:11:54 AM EST
    Just that it was different than the amount that kept being reported.

    Parent
    Ok, that's fine (none / 0) (#143)
    by ks on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:24:52 AM EST
    But why the $18 question?  How it came or went doesn't seem to matter.

    Parent
    Why it "matters". (none / 0) (#147)
    by Addison on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:33:35 AM EST
    I'm not going to read into jbindc's particular motives -- and furthermore I don't think these ARE his/her motives -- but this irrelevant (in my opinion) discrepancy between the report and a dad (who had no reason to know, anyway) could be used to gin up some smear of Trayvon as a drug dealer or something. He had more money than he was "supposed to"...

    Parent
    Uh (none / 0) (#149)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:37:42 AM EST
    I wasn't intimating any such thing about Trayvn being a drug dealer.

    I'm curious though, why it was reported, and Tracy Martin repeated, that he had $22 on him, when the official reports say he had $40. That's it.  $22 is a specific number - I doubt Tracy Martin gave his son $22 -he may have given him $20 or $40.

    It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, but once again, it shows how bad the reporting of this case has been.

    Parent

    asdf. (none / 0) (#152)
    by Addison on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:40:24 AM EST
    You say now:

    I wasn't intimating any such thing about Trayvn being a drug dealer.

    I said:

    I'm not going to read into jbindc's particular motives -- and furthermore I don't think these ARE his/her motives

    I was merely giving a reason why it might end up mattering.

    Parent

    Eh... (none / 0) (#144)
    by Addison on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:30:06 AM EST
    Just guessed the amount wrong? Or remembered the amount the police told him incorrectly? Or was just giving a random-ish number to indicate "not much". I don't know. When I was 17 my parents had no clue how much cash I had. Thanks for answering my question, though.

    Parent
    Trayvon's girlfriend (none / 0) (#31)
    by jharp on Thu May 17, 2012 at 10:50:49 PM EST
    To me, and I am no lawyer and have little idea of the rules of discovery, the most important testimony will come from Trayvon's girlfriend who was conversing with him at the time of the confrontation. Or so it has been claimed.

    Here. (none / 0) (#51)
    by Addison on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:21:09 PM EST
    Available here on the left hand side, "Mr. Martin's last phone call: This man is watching him".

    It's a bit annoying to listen to. The witness at once seems to expect direct prompts, but later says, "no, that didn't happen" (indicating to e, that she's not merely following prompts), only to bring up some important fact later. Her actual story is credible and consistent with the facts (and not really all THAT much at odds with Zimmerman's version, after all), but I feel like there's more information that a more conversant witness could have offered...

    Parent

    OK, I'll be rude about it (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:09:56 AM EST
    She just plain doesn't seem to be very bright.

    Parent
    I don't know, it's possible she's a bit (5.00 / 0) (#76)
    by Mary2012 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:40:12 AM EST
    overwhelmed with it all?

    She knew TM since she was in kindergarten and just this year they started becoming closer friends, talking everyday and then talks with him virtually up to the time he died.

    She's only 16.  Has high blood pressure.  Feels guilty though really there's nothing she could've done to save him.  The police were supposedly on their way anyhow....

    I too thought she was credible and she gave more details at the end than had been reported earlier -- at least I thought so.  

    Of course, the above is all imo.

    Parent

    Perhaps... (none / 0) (#70)
    by Addison on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:26:50 AM EST
    I felt like that was a possibility, but I've also been around people, mostly girls of some sort of lower socio-economic status, who clam up and speak as perfunctorily as possible around authority figures or in "formal" settings. Short clipped speech. Yes/No, lots of nodding without eye contact. Don't elaborate on anything. And then when they're out of that environment they're reasonably voluble and lively people. I was unclear if that's what was happening here.

    Regardless, I felt like while she was a good witness in that the story is believable and far more in line with everything else we know (Zimmerman's story included) than most would have expected, who knows what details some other witness might have been able to provide. And while I don't think she was coached to give specific answers (the answers aren't helpful enough to be fabricated, in my opinion), she sounds like she has to be led to every single answer with a leading question, which might not play well.

    Parent

    I don't think she comes across as reliable (none / 0) (#79)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:52:44 AM EST
    Not that she is purposefuly lying, but she seems to be not 100% confident on what she thinks happened vs what Trayvon tells her is happening. I am not sure she would be a strong witness under cross examination that might challenge the sequence of events.
    That said, the only possible important difference I think she introduced is that Zimmerman may have followed Martin after he hung up with dispatch. Although it still wouldn't make Zimmerman the aggessor or impact his claim of self defense.
    The other thing I am left scratching my head over is how come Trayvon was running and out of breath and so close to home, but didn't seem to be that far from the point where he passed Z's car when he was killed. Or why Z couldn't have made it back to his car in time?

    I think the placement of everything on a map of the complex will be key, in terms of figuring out whose stories are most accurate and not influenced by media reports and evidence etc.

    Parent

    Maps are hard without GZ's statement (none / 0) (#137)
    by willisnewton on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:05:15 AM EST
    and all maps, whether the result of pure guesswork or intelligent deduction lead to the same spot: John's back yard at 1221 Twin Trees, and the same question, who closed the gap/ started the fight / threw the first punch and/or proved to be the aggressor, with a vital footnote:  does Zimmerman's accounts of this event stay consistent and get corroborated or not?  

    disclaimer from the start:

    Making a  100% true timeline map of this killing is impossible while GZ's actual statements is still under seal.  

    Meanwhile if you want to use his proxies' version, his father gave a pretty clear interview to local TV that people have been using.  It's short and lacks details that would come out in a fuller statement with investigators pressing for details.  And it's been reported that Robert Zimmerman was present at a walk through the next day with investigators, although I don't yet see paperwork to go with that in the "document dump."  This was also reported as the day of the hardest grilling that took place after this walk thru, back at the cop shop.  One supposes everyone's memory was fresh here and the father has some idea of what he is saying.  

    It seems he's saying his son went all the way east on the cut thru walkway linking Twin Trees and Retreat View, reaching Retreat View in hopes of finding a street sign and then, deciding to return to his vehicle returned west on the same path, where he get jumped near the T and is knocked to the ground, etc.

    His son's motives as related here can be questioned but the movements should likely match what his son said at the walk thru.  

    He doesn't explain how the two, GZ and TM are found south of the T behind John's patio.  This has always bothered me.  

    Being on the cut thru is a clear shot back to the car, an innocent path.  Moving south in between the townhouses seems a little more like a fishing expedition at best, and a running battle at worst, if it doesn't match the full version of GZ's real statements, which are still sealed by virtue of a rule that classifies them as a confession and thus not subject to Sunshine law.  

    At least one witness claims a foot chase, (page 40) but from where they viewed this we don't know.  Two unidentified people 10-12' apart is the claim, presumably both moving until one overtakes the other.  This could be TM closing the gap for his sucker punch one supposes, but it's not a good fit with where the body ends up.  Or the witness is mistaken, or not credible, who knows.  

    The timing, if George made steady progress the whole time while he was both on the phone and later off his call still leaves some left over before the two meet at the T.  But he could walk slow, or move north and south on Retreat View to eat up the clock in a benign way and of course stand in one spot on the phone for periods.  

    Trayvon of course has plenty of time to reach his house or quite a few other things - his gap is longer if one assumes that GZ was close to where he saw the teen last when he suddenly becomes reticent to give out his home address or full name.  I think it's reasonable to assume GZ is somewhere near the T at that point.   The last time we have a decent clue to his whereabouts is when he's passing by GZ's car, somewhere between the mailboxes (as finally semi established by Dee Dee's deposition)  and his final position in the grass behind John's patio at 1221 Twin Trees.  We could assume he was near the corner at the cut thru when he starts running, taking the logic that he's decided to get off the road and out of sight of the car... but we are starting to extrapolate a bit by now.  It does fit and make some sense if you play the recorded call and sync this way TM is at the corner, the start of the cut thru and run:

    "he's running"- TM runs (duh)

    GZ gets out of his car, secures his keys, flashlight, door and pistol for ten seconds, then GZ jogs behind for three as TM vanishes, causing him to mutter "effing goons/whatever"

    TM has rounded the corner and gone south onto the dog walk, having run only a short 15-20 seconds

    But after this we just don't know.  He's not wherever GZ can find him (or be jumped by him?) for quite some time.  But interestingly enough the timing of TM getting another call from Dee Dee fits if you assume it's at the head of the first 59 seconds it could occur - we only know the time of her callback to a minute.  If it is here, his phone rings right when he is rounding the corner onto the dog walk, more or less.  Or you can assume a late ring, and he runs or walks or wanders for 59 seconds and still ends up dying near the same spot later.  

    The newest document dump gave me two certain new clues only, and they both confirmed what I had already suspected:  TM was by the mailboxes when GZ's call begins, and the location of the body is in John's back yard.  

    But the foot chase is also a new clue and I'm not sure where to put that in, nor am I sure how RZ's story accounts for the "returning to the truck" motive to match up with GZ ever setting foot between the back to back townhouses, south of the T so far, some 40-60 feet.  His truck is to the west, not south of the T

    I'd throw out the foot chase witness if it weren't similar to a comment made by the two women witnesses whose audio is in the NYT - the third one, made by the ladies who are afraid to come to the police station because they fear GZ after seeing him.  

    I've not transcribed it yet but the notes I made include
    "fight started way down on the side walk five doors down"

    which seems to agree with both the idea that the two met up by the T and also the idea that the fight ended where the body was found.

    Our moderator may delete this whole post as mere speculation, but the basics are easy enough to outline:

    TM starts by the mailboxes.  Dee Dee says so

    TM passes GZ who is somewhere between the clubhouse and the body   30 secs to reach him and 30 secs till TM runs- GZ call

    TM runs/ GZ follows for 24 secs minimum - GZ call

    GZ travels e-w and then w-e on the cut thru as per dad's proxy
    account

    at some point GZ passes somewhere where he thinks TM may be near

    2 ladies place them near the T arguing "At first"? (selma and mary?)

    GZ and body behind John's patio at the end (photos, police report)

    Parent

    My observations (none / 0) (#97)
    by rjarnold on Fri May 18, 2012 at 02:31:43 AM EST
    She introduces at least 3 new details that weren't mentioned in her interview with Crump: That Trayvon told her he lost him, that he didn't run after GZ started following him a second time because he was tired and out of breath, and that someone said something like "get off me". The last detail seems inconsistent with the interview with Crump where she said the phone went dead right after the shoving.

    The state investigator seems to lead her on at several points. An example is with the question: "And he was a good guy, wasn't he?" Also when he asked her how she knew he was scared, she said because his voice was getting kind of low. He interrupted her saying, "So you could tell he was emotional like someone who is in fear?"

    There were also many other questions I felt he could have asked but didn't.

    I hope someone can give a more thorough analysis of her account.

    Parent

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#101)
    by CuriousInAz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 02:58:23 AM EST
    She says that after he "lost him" they talked for a couple of more minutes...and yet he was evidently still "out of breath" and could not run..

    And she describes TM saying GZ was getting closer and closer....

    Timeline and distances covered,  or that could have been covered just don't add up IMO.

    O'mara's pre trial interview is going to be very uncomfortable for her that is sure...

    I want to hear her interview with Crump,  IIRC it was submitted according to that 8 page doc filed a couple days ago.

    Parent

    Dee Dee is a prodigy. (4.50 / 2) (#103)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri May 18, 2012 at 03:03:58 AM EST

    She put Trayvon into a Zeno's Paradox Continuum, so he could get closer and closer to home without ever arriving there.

    Parent
    It might have been the phone (2.00 / 0) (#207)
    by lousy1 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:04:46 PM EST
    Dee testifies she could hear it hit the grass. It must have a botanical filter as well as a magic hang up mechanism.


    Parent
    Police reports are in sync with DD's call (none / 0) (#107)
    by 12345 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 03:24:41 AM EST
    Police observations made at the time that Martin appeared to have been running in the general direction of where he was staying as a guest.

    Witnesses told police that the fight began close to that residence, and ended up elsewhere.

    I listened to Dee Dee's audio tape and found her credible and non-elaborative.  Jurors might hear what I did.

    Parent

    Dee-dee. (none / 0) (#141)
    by Addison on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:13:47 AM EST
    I think she has TM running from near the clubhouse (the "shed/shade" for the mailboxes) to some point around where he was killed. That's a far enough distance to run out of breath, and this also accords with Zimmerman's testimony.

    All in all, I don't think the timeline is actually going to be that damaging to her testimony since (in my opinion) it actually coincides with Zimmerman's surprisingly well. I was expecting some huge disparity, but there never really was one. For instance -- she has Martin say, "Why you following me for" which could be a version of "You got a problem" that Zimmerman reported Martin saying.

    I actually think she's telling the truth, but that this truth isn't terribly different from Zimmerman's story after all. Her story doesn't even strongly claim that Zimmerman struck first, if you listen carefully -- I think there's just a few muffled "get offs" that imply it? The main difference is that Zimmerman is following Martin more zealously -- but of course this is all from Martin's POV and he may have felt more chased than he was?

    Parent

    I thought Martin (none / 0) (#185)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:12:17 AM EST
    ran after he approached the vehicle. which may or  may not be by the mailboxes you are referencing. From the map I saw, I think it is not a great distance at all, to the point where Martin died. I am thinking it is little more than the 'depth' of the building. Perhaps 500 feet at most, being overly generous.
    Or to explain it differently, I thought Martin started to run just as he entered the cut through connecting the two roads and died where the path behind the buildings intersects this cut through.

    Parent
    Re. Marijuiania in trayvons system (none / 0) (#43)
    by Darby on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:05:40 PM EST
    According to the forensic pathologist on CNN, THC found in the blood, is indicative of use within hours. He also said since the sample was taken from the heart and not a vessel, the amount is meaningless as to be able to determine level of 'intoxication'


    Not impaired/intoxicated at the time. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Addison on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:08:57 AM EST
    According to CNN, the levels of THC in his blood (1.5 ng/ml) were consistent with what you'd find in an infrequent user ~7+ hours after use, or in a habitual user -- as he might have been -- days afterward. The levels of THC-COOH (7.5 ng/ml) were low, suggesting many hours since use, and again possibly longer if Trayvon Martin was a habitual user.

    In the end, if the studies on blood levels are to be believed, if he were high at the time of death, his THC levels would have been much, much higher: 10-140 ng/ml. Likewise, his THC-COOH levels would've been around 20-40 ng/ml. They weren't. The relevant experts in the CNN article all seem to hedge on the side of THC readings being too HIGH due to spikes day after use rather than too low, making it even less likely that Trayvon Martin was high at the time of death.

    Blood is routinely taken from the heart for toxicology samples in autopsies. I find it hard to believe they'd take it from an area where it would yield inadequate results. I find it harder to believe they would provide "meaningless" concentration numbers. So, I'll check up on the "heart vs. vessel" thing.


    Parent

    Follow-up (none / 0) (#118)
    by Addison on Fri May 18, 2012 at 07:39:01 AM EST
    Blood taken from the heart can potentially show a higher reading than "accurate", due to chemicals leaking from the organ itself into the blood. So the error (if any at all) in this case would be to make the test results make it seem like Martin was more high than he really was, and so the error would be to make it seem like Martin had used marijuana more recently than he had. From the DoJ:

    Drug levels in blood can elevate over time following death as drugs diffuse from blood-rich organs (heart/liver/lungs) into the blood contained in nearby blood vessels or cavities. This phenomenon, known as postmortem redistribution, is less pronounced in peripheral blood which is further from these major organs. Samples to substitute for peripheral blood include vitreous humor and liver.

    ...so, if anything, it seems that Martin's "actual" levels may have been even lower, but not higher (at least not through the process of redistribution, anyway).

    Parent

    It's entirely irrelevant anyway (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:11:10 AM EST
    MJ does not make people aggressive, quite the contrary.

    Parent
    That's true. (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Addison on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:15:43 AM EST
    But Darby was earlier arguing that marijuana might have made Martin act strangely, drawing Zimmerman's attention (Zimmerman said Martin looked like he was on drugs or something -- I think he may have just been talking on his phone and spacing out). But the toxicology results seem to rule that out somewhat -- the numbers are consistent with recent use (in the previous 8 hours or so), but not with VERY recent use (in the previous 3 hours). Not with being intoxicated, high, or whatever euphemism one wants to use. So, Zimmerman saw what he saw, but the toxicology reports seem to suggest he did not see a person who was high...

    Parent
    I think you are wrong (none / 0) (#74)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:37:20 AM EST
    the forensic pathologist is saying the numbers are not accurate, because of how they were drawn. Nothing can be concluded from those numbers.
    I am not sure, but there may be another toxicology report released that will have more information, as opposed to the medical examiner report, according to a CNN report.

    Parent
    Redistribution (5.00 / 0) (#117)
    by Addison on Fri May 18, 2012 at 07:33:32 AM EST
    Perhaps. This is what the toxicologist said via CNN:

    He also noted levels of THC, which can linger in a person's system for days, can spike after death in certain areas of the body because of redistribution.

    Likewise, from the Department of Justice (pdf):

    Drug levels in blood can elevate over time following death as drugs diffuse from blood-rich organs (heart/liver/lungs) into the blood contained in nearby blood vessels or cavities. This phenomenon, known as postmortem redistribution, is less pronounced in peripheral blood which is further from these major organs. Samples to substitute for peripheral blood include vitreous humor and liver.

    As you can see, "redistribution" is the a process whereby there can be temporary SPIKES in blood levels as the chemical leaves the heart and seeps into nearby blood. The "danger" in taking blood from the heart is that it might make it seem that the person was "more high" than they were, due to post-mortem effects. Blood taken from a vessel will have lower amounts. In other words, the error in this case would be in the direction of making it seem like Martin used marijuana more recently than he did.

    Parent

    It can make them paranoid (none / 0) (#75)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:38:46 AM EST
    It can make them act goofy, weird or even suspicious.

    Parent
    Were tests done on GZ? (none / 0) (#95)
    by 12345 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 02:20:43 AM EST
    I'm sorry if I missed it, but did the police give GZ tests the night he was in custody for drugs, alcohol, etc, and were the results released to the public?

    Parent
    No (none / 0) (#102)
    by CuriousInAz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 03:02:15 AM EST
    No tests,  evidently not common to test unless impairment is suspected to be a factor.

    I think it's standard for an autopsy though.

    Parent

    I wish the media would set the record straight on (none / 0) (#116)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 07:13:22 AM EST
    this.
    It is perhaps the one thing Crump still has left to try and whip people up into a fury. Of course he knows better, but when asked about Martin being high all he wants to know is why Zimmerman wasn't checked for drugs.

    Parent
    The presence of THC in the blood (none / 0) (#167)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:36:40 AM EST
    and cannabinoids in the the urine, may not be irrelevant to the defense.   Certainly, as Jeralyn points out, marijuana does not cause violence and the amounts may not be enough for a "high."  However,  it may be argued that sufficient amounts were present in the system to cause some psychoactive effect such as euphoria or alteration of conscious perception.

    It would not need to be argued that a biological effect more profound was enabled, such as anxiety or panic attack.  Doubts as to why Trayvon might have initiated the confrontation, in light of testimony from family and friends as to its unlikelihood, may be introduced by the defense as possibly being caused by a subjective drug effect.  An additional point for reasonable doubt.

    Parent

    How many times have you been stoned? (3.67 / 3) (#171)
    by Dadler on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:43:18 AM EST
    Seriously?

    So you'd like reasonable doubt NOT to be based on biology and science, but on the prejudices a jury might have about marijuana?  A subjective drug effect?  WTF?  That's like saying anyone with the slightest trace of alcohol in their system was drunk and possibly wacked because of, well, a subjective booze effect. Well, the volume in his blood matters, and does his size, and according to SCIENCE it was negligable. A non starter.


    Parent

    So I seem to be hearing many angles on the THC... (none / 0) (#193)
    by CuriousInAz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:32:59 AM EST
    Many seem to be asserting that TM if high,  would not have attacked GZ because MJ typically makes folks 'mellow'

    And then many say the reported levels show he was likely not 'high' at the time of the incident.

    Parent

    While I agree with you Dadler the problem I have (none / 0) (#197)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:39:43 AM EST
    Is that quite a few people WHEN they are arguing as to whether Zimmerman could have had a decent reason to suspect Trayvon seem to be acting like it was a bright sunny day, not a rainy , dark, night. Martin was dancing along merrily (straight home of course), I suppose, whistling and swinging his bag of skittles or the tea with the sun shining and birds chirping. Zimmerman, in this narrative was practically frothing at the mouth - probably OD'D on one of his prescription drugs - and clearly had no reason in the world to be suspicious of Trayvon.

    The fact is, you are right. We can't say he was high at the time of the encounter, in fact, it's highly highly probable he wasn't. However, as has been pointed out that doesn't mean the drugs that were in his system didn't have some effect (maybe cumulative) on his behavior, even if it was just to push him more into a "fighting mood" rather than a "flighting" mood. All speculation, as is him being lost and thus looking closely at the similar looking houses to get his bearings, him casing a few places out, him waving his arms about weirdly as he talked on his hands free celly, etc.

    We don't know, precisely WHY Zimmerman thought Martin was suspicious because we don't yet have all the necessary testimony. But I will say that the presence of this in TM's system doesn't make it LESS likely that he was acting in some strange sort of manner. It makes it more.

    Parent

    Dueling Pharmocologists (none / 0) (#195)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:35:22 AM EST
    You're right in your theory of how it can be used by the defense to interject "reasonable doubt." On the other side we have evidence that GZ was prescribed certain mood altering drugs, that in some cases induces aggressive behavior.

    However, in both cases, what we don't know is if any of the "possible" effects actually were activated. In TM's case the amount in his system was described as "slight," or "quite small," and in GZ's case we don't even know if he had ingested the medication.

    Parent

    And those drugs Zimmerman was prescribed (none / 0) (#211)
    by jbindc on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:11:33 PM EST
    (If he is truly ADD / ADHD and was 1) taking them 2) in the right dose) would probably "mellow" him out, because that's what they do - calm people down and help them focus (even though they are stimulants).

    Parent
    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#59)
    by bmaz on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:47:12 PM EST
    Do you have the order that would have applied, re out of court chatter, to "other parties" or whatever - i.e. Crump - handy?  

    I think it is (none / 0) (#72)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:29:58 AM EST
    That is it! (none / 0) (#73)
    by bmaz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:35:13 AM EST
    Thank you!

    Parent
    The authoratative voice? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Cylinder on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:51:26 PM EST
    Is the the basis for the authoritative voice described by Det. Gilbreath in the bond hearing? Taken from the witness staement, pages 89-93:

    On February 26th aproximately between 7pm - 7:15pm I was in my bedroom facing the sidewalk that is a common area where people walk which faces south in the complex. I heard loud voices, one was very dominant, but I did not look out the closed window. The voices stopped but when I laid on my bed to read, I heard the loud voices again and got up to look to see who it was. I had to open the window to see. But, becuase it was dark I had my night light on to read I could not see anything with the glare. So I shut the light off and kneeled down to look out the open part of the blinds, now I had a clear view of two people on the ground one on top of the other. At that time I felt that something horrible was happening [sic] knew I had to call 911. My phone was to my right on the nightstand, I remained kneeling and phoned 911. As I was dialing I was listening to horrifying yelling for helping [?] with a second cry that was a yelp. I beleive it was not the loud voice I head in the argument or the agressive voice I heard earlier. I now was on the phone with 911 man and was telling him something horrible was happening and asking him if he can hear it. I place my phone to the window screen as I was watching. As I watched one man on top of another and [?] on the phone I heard a popping noise and continued to tell the 911 man hurry up and get some one here. Shortly after a man got up, he was a broad built man and walked approximately 10 ft to 20 ft away from the other person who was still laying on the ground face down.

    [Witness describes the time between Zimmerman getting up and the detectives interviewing her.]

    After I completed the statement, I cried and told him I'll never forget the cries for help and wish I could have helped. And the investistigator by the name of Chris told me "If it makes you feel and better the crys for help were not the person that died" and your statement was the same as the other witnesses.



    Yes (none / 0) (#90)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri May 18, 2012 at 01:34:48 AM EST
    This is the witness discussed here, here, here, and here.

    Parent
    anyone know if a request, for an SYG (none / 0) (#61)
    by cpinva on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:04:39 AM EST
    hearing, for mr. zimmerman, has been made yet? or if mr. o'mara is even going to request one?

    None yet (none / 0) (#69)
    by bmaz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:22:13 AM EST
    But likely will in future.

    Parent
    On Thursday eve Piers Morgan show... (none / 0) (#104)
    by CuriousInAz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 03:04:47 AM EST
    O'Mara was asked about this and he essentially said he is still sifting thru the evidence and it's too early to make that decision.

    Parent
    Does anyone know what one of the autopsy entries (none / 0) (#68)
    by Mary2012 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:21:37 AM EST
    is referring to for "Evidence of Recent Medical Treatment"

    The entry is "Cardiac monitor pad on left flank"

    What is being noted here with this entry?


    Geek Guess (none / 0) (#98)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri May 18, 2012 at 02:37:48 AM EST

    It sounds like when the EMTs were trying to revive him, they taped an electrode to his side to give them feedback on how his heart was responding.

    Just a geek guess. I'm not a medical professional.

    Parent

    Ahhhh, sounds like a good guess, Geek. TY. (none / 0) (#100)
    by Mary2012 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 02:51:02 AM EST
    You should check out (none / 0) (#85)
    by rjarnold on Fri May 18, 2012 at 01:14:35 AM EST
    Just One Minute's deconstruction of the Washington Post article, which is another example of highly misleading journalism. On the "I have a gun" quote:

    That is what the witness said and that is presumably what the witness heard. However, that was after Zimmerman fired the fatal shot, when he had his hands up and was identifying himself to the approaching police officer. In fact (p. 41) the full quote is "I've got a gun, I've got a gun. Take my gun from me".  How did the WaPo miss that?

    Also on the idea that the police "rushed to judgment" on who was screaming on the 9/11 tapes, the only witness who could identify the guys during the fight said he saw a White or Hispanic guy on the bottom yelling for help. They also saw that he had significant injuries and likely had a legit reason to be calling for help, while Trayvon had no major injuries besides the gunshot wound. It really seemed like a reasonable conclusion to make at the time.

    On the chasing, the woman said that she only saw it after she took her contacts out, only saw a 'glance', could not identify who was chasing who, and that they were running towards the T (which would have been in the opposite direction of Trayvon's father's house.  

    It is not concluded fact (none / 0) (#91)
    by rjarnold on Fri May 18, 2012 at 01:43:30 AM EST
    but I would argue that it is logical to assume that if one of them was getting beat up, then that person would have been the one screaming for help. The only witness who could definitively tell who was who during the fight said GZ was yelling for help (and his account has been corroborated by reports of grassstains on GZ's back and the list of injuries GZ received). I don't see how that is cherrypicking since those are the most relevant facts either way, and everything else has been inconclusive.

    That is speculation on your part (none / 0) (#96)
    by 12345 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 02:29:36 AM EST
    I suggest you listen to the various witness interviews that are posted on the New York Times, especially if you think the police did a great job and there was no reason for them to have arrested Zimmerman any sooner than they did.

    On the narrow issue of who was screaming, I happen to personally think it was GZ, mainly because if you listen to the tapes and if you've heard GZ's voice, I think it sounds like him.  But I think if the case reaches a jury, the jury may be persuaded by the entire weight of evidence that Zimmerman provoked the confrontation, that Martin believed he was fighting off a potential attacker, and that Zimmerman's mind set of panic was the culmination of a pre-determined mindset that leapt to conclusions about imminent threat that repeatedly ran ahead of reality.

    Parent

    in which case it would (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 18, 2012 at 03:22:12 AM EST
    be manslaughter at most and not second degree murder.

    I've reached my limit with you arguing for guilt. If you return tomorrow, please limit yourself to four comments a day. See our comment rules on chattering. Thank you. I've tried to be patient but every one of your comments is implying or stating he is guilty r his lawyer is playing games or lying.

    Parent

    Not positive (none / 0) (#134)
    by bmaz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 09:02:16 AM EST
    But I think I recall the standard being that lesser includeds are effectively automatically given.

    Parent
    That is a conclusory statement (none / 0) (#105)
    by bmaz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 03:15:54 AM EST
    Apparently completely detached from any specific reading or consideration here. Say what you will about Mr. Maguire, his analysis in the post linked to here seems spot on.

    Bmazz, I deleted (none / 0) (#108)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 18, 2012 at 03:25:35 AM EST
    that comment and 12345 is limited to four comments a day. The insult to Maguire was unacceptable as is 12345's every comment which posits guilt or malfeasance. Maguire has a better grasp of the facts and distortions in this case than just about anyone.

    Parent
    Actually, 12345 has been (none / 0) (#109)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 18, 2012 at 03:30:59 AM EST
    banned. First commenter banned on TalkLeft on the Zimmerman case. I deleted several objectionable comments and have left the rest. If I find more objectionable comments I may just zap the account which means all 12345's comments will be deleted.

    Please be advised that if you are banned, all of your comments may be erased. Save your comments on your computer if you have put time and effort into them and are arguing for guilt.

    Parent

    "I can tell you there was no fighting (none / 0) (#112)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri May 18, 2012 at 03:56:58 AM EST
    going on at the time the gun went off." (= NYT link to Serino's interview recording of two female roommate witnesses)

    You can hear the cries for help right up to the sound of the gunshot on the 911 call. If the gun was shot within inches of Martin's chest, then that indicates the fighting was still going on so the witnesses are incorrect. I think they may have originally meant that the men weren't yelling anymore (arguing-fighting), but the witnesses reiterate that the men were not physically fighting at the time the gun went off. That's an odd claim to make since they weren't watching at that time.


    183 (none / 0) (#113)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri May 18, 2012 at 06:27:21 AM EST
    I've made a first pass through the 183 pages. It's not nearly as big a job as it sounds.

    Many pages are duplicates for some reason. Some pages are entirely or almost entirely redacted. Some are copies of routine documents, presenting little information and none of interest. Many pages are photographs. There are a curiously large number of neighborhood newsletters, which I skimmed very lightly.

    The significance of most of this evidence will take time to evaluate. I've come away most impressed by a minor point.

    The prosecution has absolutely zero evidence that Zimmerman ever said the word 'punks' - except that Zimmerman has admitted it. The Fifth Amendment has got to be one of the most under-appreciated, under-used parts of the Constitution. Silence is golden, golden.


    I agree with your last point (none / 0) (#114)
    by ruffian on Fri May 18, 2012 at 06:35:03 AM EST
    however in this case admitting to saying 'punk' was to deny saying something worse.

    Parent
    The capias issue (none / 0) (#119)
    by RKF on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:07:04 AM EST
    What I found most interesting was this Link

    Serino wanted to charge GZ with a violation of §782.07, which makes more sense (I was first drawn to her regarding allegations of overcharge)

    That is the "culpable negligence" standard, which always seemed to make sense, and based upon case law, seems within the evidence and consistent with the emphasis on how "avoidable" the death ws due to GZ getting out of the car and ultimately ending up in a confrontation

    ) The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification according to the provisions of chapter 776 and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder, according to the provisions of this chapter, is manslaughter, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

    These annotations caught my eye under this standard, although both predate SYG and the GZ still could avoid criminal liability through justification.  But it at least looks like the state's case-in-chief could be met on this charge

    Evidence was legally sufficient to support jury's verdict convicting defendant of manslaughter arising from shooting death of victim during struggle over possession of shotgun recklessly brought to the scene by defendant, and victim's initiation of the struggle did not negate defendant's responsibility for the homicide. Cunningham v. State, App. 3 Dist., 385 So.2d 721 (1980), review denied 402 So.2d 613. Homicide 1148

    Where both parties involved are at fault, and neither is aggressor more than other, situation involves "mutual combat," and if in such combat one slays the other, killing is manslaughter. Eiland v. State, App. 2 Dist., 112 So.2d 415 (1959). Homicide 690

    Also, if the State proves GZ's misstated the facts in his version of events, that looks relevant

    Defendant's actions in flying aircraft so near to ground that he pulled up to avoid palm trees and antennae, making three or four passes at an altitude of 40 or 50 feet above populated motel causing people on ground to take cover, and stating that aircraft experienced a mechanical failure, which was false, were sufficient to show conduct of gross and flagrant character, evincing reckless disregard of human life, and warranting conviction for manslaughter by culpable negligence of passenger in plane. Pritchett v. State, App. 3 Dist., 414 So.2d 2 (1982), review denied 424 So.2d 762. Homicide 709

    Finally, the lesser included offense is of course available

    The grade or degree with which a homicidal act was committed is a question of fact dependent upon the circumstances of a case and is typically for resolution by the jury. Larsen v. State, 485 So.2d 1372, 1373 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986); Reimel v. State, 532 So.2d 16 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988). Both manslaughter and second-degree murder can be defined generally as homicides resulting from the criminal actions of an accused*1006 who had no premeditated design to kill. Each crime is committed when an unintended death occurs as a result of an act of the killer. However, there is a legal difference between the two crimes, and if the facts do not support a conviction, it is our duty to either reduce the conviction to its proper degree, or discharge the accused. Marasa, 394 So.2d at 545. There is no view of the facts herein from which the jury could properly conclude that the instant homicide constituted second-degree murder, in that there is no evidence that Ellison's actions were done â€oefrom ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent.”

    Second-degree murder convictions have consistently been affirmed when the unintended death resulted from intentional actions toward or directed at a particular victim out of ill will, spite or malice. See Gordon v. State, 457 So.2d 1095 (Fla. 5th DCA 1984) (defendant who caused accident while intoxicated deliberately ran over another driver who attempted to block defendant's flight from the scene); Larsen v. State, 485 So.2d 1372 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986) (defendant struck partially disabled wife during argument, causing her to fall and fracture her skull); Dellinger v. State, 495 So.2d 197 (Fla. 5th DCA 1986) (defendant picked up a gun and pointed it at his wife during an argument and pulled the trigger without knowing whether or not it was loaded); Hooker v. State, 497 So.2d 982 (Fla. 2d DCA 1986) (defendant shot into a trailer which he believed to be occupied by migrant workers after going on a mission to rid the community of such workers); Reimel v. State, 532 So.2d 16 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988) (defendant shot victim who had hit him during an argument, when defendant was at the time seated in a running car with a clear path of flight).

    [4]

    Manslaughter, the killing of a human being by, among other things, the culpable negligence of another without lawful justification, § 782.07, Fla.Stat. (1987), has been found when the element of ill will, hatred, spite or evil intent is absent. A defendant is culpably negligent when he consciously follows a course of conduct showing reckless disregard of human life, or of the safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects, or such an entire want of care as to raise a presumption of a conscious indifference to consequences, or which shows wantonness or recklessness, or a grossly careless disregard of the safety and welfare of the public, or such an indifference to the rights of others as is equivalent to an intentional violation of such rights. Standard Criminal Jury Instruction on Manslaughter (October 1985).

    Ellison v. State
    547 So.2d 1003
    Fla.App. 1 Dist.,1989.



    What is interesting (none / 0) (#124)
    by Darby on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:26:54 AM EST
    if, as alleged, the prosecutor declined to move forward pressing charges it would seem reasonable based upon the evidence.
    If the only evidence of "criminal activity" as suggested by the investigator is that Zimmerman exited his vehicle the state shouldn't be wasting taxpayer time or money.

    Parent
    Well yes (none / 0) (#160)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:16:44 AM EST
    It's also amazing how weak the states case is, as well as how far they've overcharged Zimmerman.

    Most people can put two and two together about this kind of thing, others merely don't want to.

    Parent

    Please simplify (none / 0) (#163)
    by RickyJ on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:21:07 AM EST
    I didn't know previously about the guilt by culpable negligence law.  At first glance, Zimmerman getting out of his car to try to catch a glimpse of where Martin might be, with a legal gun in his waistband, alone, doesn't seem to make the cut.  I hope you can make it easier for us lawyers to understand by coming up with simple jury instructions, like I tried to do in some posts above.  Thanks in advance.

    Parent
    Oops (none / 0) (#169)
    by RickyJ on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:38:02 AM EST
    I am not a lawyer.  I meant for you to come up with something us non lawyers can understand.

    Parent
    Prior to GZ exiting the vehicle..... (none / 0) (#196)
    by CuriousInAz on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:36:03 AM EST
    The dispatcher says the following...

    "Let me know if he does anything else ok, yea, we got em on the way, just let me know if this guy does anything else"

    ...any thoughts on this?

    DDs interview (none / 0) (#213)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri May 18, 2012 at 01:30:24 PM EST
    Can someone please provide a link?  I have looked all over the NYTimes site and I can't find it.  

    *Puts on my technology challenged dunce cap*

    I want to add one comment about the whole (none / 0) (#214)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri May 18, 2012 at 01:43:50 PM EST
    "who was taller, stronger, heavier, etc.," comments.

    First of all, it's immaterial.

    Unless you are desperately grasping at straws, GZ was the one on his back getting hit and there is no way to prove who started the actual physical confrontation.

    But, aside from that, if you are using the physical aspects of each guy to try to guess at who would or would not throw the first punch, just understand this: in general, among us regular Shmoes of the world, in a street fight the taller guy enjoys an innate advantage - if "only" psychological - over the shorter guy, and the shorter guy an innate dis-advantage.

    Why? Because the taller guy generally has a longer reach and will be punching down compared the the shorter guy who's generally got a shorter reach and will be punching up.

    And because getting punched in the face hurts so we usually quickly calculate our odds at getting hit and typically try to avoid it.

    Of course, once the actual physical confrontation has started, all bets are off...

    I wish (none / 0) (#216)
    by kmblue on Fri May 18, 2012 at 02:31:55 PM EST
    people argued about politics like this.


    Discovery (none / 0) (#217)
    by denny on Sat May 19, 2012 at 09:33:55 PM EST
    In your article you state "The only eyewitness who could make an identification as the struggle was ongoing and before the shot (who appears to be John) told police at the scene that the man in the red jacket was on the bottom, crying for help, and the guy on top of him was repeatedly hitting him."

    John, witness #6, to whom you refer, has changed part of his story, as to who was crying for help,

    read here :
    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-05-18/news/os-trayvon-martin-evidence-witness6-20120518_1_k ey-witness-ground-dog-fight

    Interview, here :
    http://axiomamnesia.com/2012/05/18/trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-case-witness-interviews-statement s-full-audio/

    I Would also welcome your thoughts about the first officer to respond Off. Timothy Smith.

    The following passages are blacked out in the discovery dump but I was able to find them on the original police reports that were made public a while back.

    In his statement, Officer Smith writes :
    "Zimmerman was placed in the rear of my police vehicle and was given first aid by the SFD. While the SFD was attending to Zimmerman, I overheard him state "I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me. At no point did I question Zimmerman about the incident that had taken place. Once Zimmerman was cleared by the SFD, he was transported to the Sanford Police department where he was questioned by investigators.

    Here is what is curious to me, the interview of the SF parademic who treated Zimmerman and who was asked by the DA if Zimmerman had made any statements to him.

    http://axiomamnesia.com/2012/05/18/trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-case-witness-interviews-statement s-full-audio/