George Zimmerman: Weekend Verdict Watch

Update: Sat. 5:55 pm ET: Jurors have a question. Court will reconvene to hear it.

Our thread on closing arguments is full, so here is a place to continue the discussion of the trial, the legal aspects of the case and the media coverage while we wait for a verdict.

From earlier posts:

If you are just discovering TalkLeft, please read our commenting rules for this case before chiming in.

< Zimmerman Jury Recesses for Day | Saturday Open Thread >
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    I forget the conventional wisdom.... (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:19:57 PM EST
    ... as to which side is commonly favored the longer the deliberations continue, but it seems like, in this case, an acquittal would occur today. The longer it drags out, the more GZ should worry.

    Normally, I would agree... (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Cylinder on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:31:48 PM EST
    But there could be a sole hold-out. This case has strong emotions and it could be harder to sway the lone opinion.

    Usually there's no real problem with optics for the jury to consider in an acquittal. This jury has to be aware that there is one here.

    There is a weekday verdict rumor. According to this pure speculation, the parties have agreed to have whatever verdict announced on a weekday to lessen the likelihood that tension erupts.

    JMHO salted heavily with speculation.


    Seems like (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:37:50 PM EST
    If they come to a decision today, the j ury isn't going to want to be sequestered for another day just because of the optics.

    Glad you added the salt! (none / 0) (#71)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:41:49 PM EST
    The thought of emotions that are running so high that violence is inevitable....unless it is a Monday.....makes me glad I don't watch TV news.

    But how would the jury know that? (none / 0) (#75)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:57:21 PM EST
    They surely can't tell them. Maybe if no verdict today, they make them take off tomorrow?

    That seems cruel to me - to the jurors, but especially to the Martin family and the GZ family.

    Are you saying there are rumors from the jury itself? (I did read a rumor juror E40 signed the note yesterday. Lawyer/analyst there who said the person who told her would not supposed to be able to know that).


    O'Mara did tell the jury that if (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:28:29 PM EST
    prosecution did not prove self defense beyond a read. doubt, the jury's job was done.

    One of the jurors (none / 0) (#74)
    by indy in sc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:52:59 PM EST
    has 8 children, seven of which are under the age of 18!  I'm sure she wants to get back to her family and wouldn't want to spend any more time than absolutely necessary being sequestered.  Of course, depending on your vantage point, I'm sure a mother of 8 can use a break!

    The threats had calmed down (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:33:50 PM EST
    Now that evidence has come out that it's not what was portrayed, he thought it would get even better, but it's ramped up again. People blaming the system and saying they can't get justice.

    Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:05:08 PM EST
    Thank you so much for educating me on this case and others.

    The Open Thread now has implications that GZ is a racist when I believe he's far from it. Call him a murderer and I give them that opinion.

    I'm taking a break. Just wanted to thank you. I'll discuss evidence all day, but I'm getting upset and think I'll read a book.

    When I get the nerve to go to my mom's and get her stuff and then sell her condo, I'll send you a donation. You're a terrific person.

    which open thread? (none / 0) (#105)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:47:38 PM EST
    I'm not seeing that.

    The last Zimmerman thread has references (none / 0) (#109)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:03:57 PM EST
    To "nit wit juror" and very strongly expressed stuff re Corey, prosecutor, and prosecutors in general.

    I deleted the nit wit comment (none / 0) (#114)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:42:05 PM EST
    and am about to delete the comments arguing about the NAACP. I have repeatedly said we are discussing the legal case.

    A couple of "nit wit" comments in (none / 0) (#118)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:51:35 PM EST
    this thread too, probably by the same poster as in the last thread.

    Please look at the comments re Corey. (none / 0) (#132)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:04:47 PM EST
    Quite personal.

    Me thinks... (5.00 / 0) (#90)
    by Laura G on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:24:40 PM EST
    that there is a hung jury and that one (possibly two) crazy juror has made and illogical, irrational leap from "He shouldn't have gotten out of the car" to murder and filled in all the blanks in between with utter nonsense.

    I'm beginning to worry (none / 0) (#91)
    by goddessoftheclassroom on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:29:49 PM EST
    that you're correct.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#93)
    by rickroberts on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:45:26 PM EST
    That's why they asked for the evidence list. There is a nitwit on the jury who is trying to argue something that isn't in evidence, and the others are trying to talk sense to her. I would pull my hair out in a situation like that.

    I can just hear her now... (none / 0) (#94)
    by goddessoftheclassroom on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:49:01 PM EST
    ..."but he started it when he got out of the truck!"

    May there be real justice.


    Appearance (1.00 / 3) (#96)
    by rickroberts on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:56:49 PM EST
    Guarantee she has a long gray ponytail.

    "clearly" (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:43:59 PM EST
    not so clear, and yes he's a victim because he's dead.

    You offend with just about every post.

    If I sign up for the Twitter feed, (4.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:11:19 PM EST
    will the others following the feed see anything except my user name?  (Not counting NSA, law enforcement, CIA, FBI etc.)

    If they click your name they will (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:16:20 PM EST
    see what is public in your twitter profile. And who is following you, I believe. If you are like me, that is about 5 people, 3 of whom I have never heard of and are probably marketers.

    Guess I'll stick w/TL. (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:19:06 PM EST
    I'll follow her and IM you (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:27:04 PM EST
    Twitter, TL style.

    I'll retweet it as soon as I get it from her (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 09:06:47 PM EST
    feed so you can follow me if you want. Or just remove your name from your twitter profile.

    I haven't had time to log onto twitter all week but today I did and saw I reached 1,000 followers. I doubt anyone would care enough to scroll through them all and notice if you followed me,


    Pseudonym is fine (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by bmaz on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:44:45 PM EST
    on Twitter. Been using mine at both blogs and twitter for years just fine.

    Here's the link (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 09:10:42 PM EST
    to Talkleft's twitter feed. Actually, maybe you should be worried about the NSA going through it-- Kim DotCom follows me now. (and yes, 9,000 other people. But since 300,000 follow him, I'm flattered.)

    Oculus, you can set your twitter to (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Teresa on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:21:25 PM EST
    private and only follow that site. You'll have no followers unless you accept them and you'll be following only that site. You don't have to even set a profile.

    I'd just use a throwaway email.


    Herd of cats (1.00 / 4) (#112)
    by rickroberts on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:27:00 PM EST
    What a jury.

    Why are you insulting the jury? (5.00 / 3) (#116)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:44:04 PM EST
    We don't have a verdict yet, and we have no evidence that they are doing anything wrong.

    That attack is coming out of left field. (none / 0) (#117)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:48:29 PM EST
    Ugh (1.00 / 5) (#151)
    by rickroberts on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:28:33 PM EST
    Someone on that jury is obviously stupid. Geez, Louise.

    STOP IT (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:29:12 PM EST
    Thanks and... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Bystander on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 10:27:10 PM EST
    First, thanks mods for your sober analysis of this case. This site has been an invaluable resource for lay people like me who want to understand what all is going on.

    Second (sorry in advance for the long-winded question), I saw an interview with O'Mara on CNN in which he talks about De La Rionda and the state's dubious discovery and disclosure methods w/r/t the TM phone records. Assuming O'mara's allegations are true, even if GZ is acquitted and there's no appeal, might the state prosecutors face punishment for withholding this info? Finally, on that matter, does the buck stop at BDLR, or does it go all the way up to Corey?

    I'm just trying to get a sense of how severe the state's alleged misconduct is. Is it criminal? Is it grounds for getting dis-barred? Or this a no harm, no foul scenario?  

    Speaking of Corey (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by lily on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:33:05 AM EST

    State Attorney Angela Corey fires information techonology director who raised concerns in Trayvon Martin case
    Posted: July 13, 2013
    By David Bauerlein

    State Attorney Angela Corey fired her office's information technology director Friday after he testified last month about being concerned prosecutors did not turn over information to George Zimmerman's defense team in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.


    She is a vile person (1.00 / 1) (#18)
    by rickroberts on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:29:14 AM EST
    Maybe her career will melt away.

    Absolutely disgusting (1.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Jack203 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:58:03 AM EST
    They are the true criminals in this case.

    re: (none / 0) (#55)
    by dms on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:40:22 AM EST
    the state has done everything possible to keep the defense on it's heels. Imagine if gz had someone defending him that merely took the case for the exposure? i'd like to be a fly on the wall in that jury room.

    I just came to post this (none / 0) (#16)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:21:24 AM EST
    Twitter lawyers say they continue to be disgusted by her office.

    Wow, what an article (none / 0) (#19)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:33:52 AM EST
    She is something else. So she used money to enrich her and BDLR's pension funds, and is totally ok with hiding information from the defense.

    How does she keep her job? I hope the employee who went to a lawyer, got the information to the defense, as required by law, and fired at 7:30 am yesterday, sues and gets huge bucks from them.


    I thought whistleblowers are protected (none / 0) (#21)
    by Darby on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:47:12 AM EST
    Why is there no repercussions against BDLR? Absurd

    The prosecutors office is safe (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:59:41 AM EST
    Kruidbos didn't follow the protocol in the whistleblower law, by not informing his superiors of the alleged breach, giving them an opportunity to correct it.  He has no wrongful termination recourse, from the sound of it.

    Bernardo won't be sanctioned by the court for phone contents discovery violation, because the phone contents were ruled inadmissible, and Nelson will find that the only subsequent discovery would have gone to authentication.  Since the evidence was ruled inadmissible, there is no prejudice to defendant for failure to disclose, even if there was a discovery violation.


    But without the discovery (none / 0) (#25)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:05:18 AM EST
    violation, there'd be no grounds for appeal other than not granting the JOA? Or a continuation to allow the defense to further authenticate the texts which is what the Judge ruled about, right?

    It sounds like by case law lawyers there tweeted, they should have been admitted anyway, but if they'd take depositions of the recipients, they'd have been admitted based on how she ruled, right?

    So he did still the right thing and was unfairly fired. Though, I wouldn't want to work there anyway and anyone who can find something FDLE couldn't in a year, should be able to get a good job.


    Authentication was not the reason (none / 0) (#28)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:34:10 AM EST
    Judge Nelson excluded the evidence for being inadmissible hearsay, and as not being afoul of the right to exculpatory hearsay evidence, a constitutional issue raised by West.  She implicitly found that it was authenticated, by citing the relevant cases.

    The two motions for JOA stand independent of the excluded evidence.  They are on a record where that evidence was excluded.

    Assuming a conviction, there are independent grounds for appeal with different remedies.

    If the DCA finds the JOA should have been granted (the state did not produce enough evidence to disprove self defense), the remedy is reversal of the verdict, Zimmerman is acquitted.  The question of admissibility of the phone contents is not an issue.

    If the DCA finds the JOA was properly denied, it looks to the exclusion of the phone contents evidence.  If it finds that this evidence was improperly excluded, Zimmerman gets a new trial.


    She ruled (none / 0) (#29)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:47:53 AM EST
    inadmissible hearsay? I thought it was because according to her, anyone could have used his phone? Authenticating it was him would have taken care of that.

    Yes, she ruled inadmissible hearsay (none / 0) (#30)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:57:06 AM EST
    The night before, she was all over the authentication thing, 7 year old could get in (although FDLE couldn't, with a year of time - tells you something about either the capability of FDLE or Nelson's assumptions); but before she spoke the next morning, somebody had handed her two cases that show very clearly that the contents of a cellphone are self-authenticating.

    The cases she cited the night before related to authentication of posts on MySpace / Facebook sorts of things; not information residing on a device in a person's possession, then having a chain of custody.

    Back to the next morning, she just read the two case names, then said the evidence was inadmissible under the hearsay rule that West had sought admission under.  She moved on pretty quick.  West stood and reminded her that she had not addressed his constitutional argument (I forget the case that elucidates the legal principle), and Nelson said that her prior ruling (June 5, IIRC) and this ruling stand in light of the constitutional argument.  She never provided  a substantive rationale on that point, nor did she take argument from the prosecution.  She just delivered a naked assertion that her ruling to exclude the evidence stands.  And, as a matter of law, she's right.  If counsel has an issue with it, they can appeal - after the trial.


    The constitional argument being (none / 0) (#31)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:05:02 AM EST
    due process, which I think West was saying?

    You are correct - denial of due process (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:37:19 AM EST
    Here's a summary of the record with a few links for anybody who is a glutton for punishment.

    Judge Nelson 7/10 - Text and Animation Rulings @0:54. She mentions Symonette v State and State v. Lumarque (link goes to legalinsurrection discussion). Nelson, having those two cases, would not have argued against admissibility on authentication grounds.

    She asserted the evidence was inadmissible under
    FS 90.803(3). I believe the contents admissible under the present sense impressions exception, and there is no need to reach the constitutional argument.

    West also argued admissibility under the due process principle covered in Chambers v. Mississippi - 410 U.S. 284 (1973).

    On July 10, Nelson said her pretrial ruling denying admissibility (June 5, IIRC), and her ruling on July 10 denying admissibility both stand, also in light of Chambers v. Mississippi.

    The Chambers case held that the right to a fair trial and due process trump the rules of evidence, when it comes to exculpatory evidence.

    . . . the hearsay rule may not be applied mechanistically to defeat the ends of justice.

    We conclude that the exclusion of this critical evidence, coupled with the State's refusal to permit Chambers to cross-examine McDonald, denied him a trial in accord with traditional and fundamental standards of due process.

    Ugh spell fail (none / 0) (#32)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:06:10 AM EST
    I heard first the judge would give one hour notice. Now I read 15 minutes. Is that serious?? I want to take a shower!

    I don't know if the issue survives (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:06:47 AM EST
    If Zimmerman is acquitted, he has no reason to appeal.  The sanctions motion can be disposed of by a finding at the trial court level that there is no procedural prejudice, because the "contents of the phone" evidence was ruled inadmissible at trial.

    Probably the most egregious recent case: (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:26:59 PM EST
    Is the prosecution of Senator Stevens:



    More confused (none / 0) (#12)
    by Bystander on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:14:38 AM EST
    [Investigator]Schuelke said the misconduct was certainly intentional, but does not meet the threshold for criminal contempt.

    If intentionally withholding exculpatory evidence is not criminal contempt, what is?

    In any case, thanks for the read. I remember Stevens' scandal and his unfortunately timed death, but had no clue about the ensuing legal fight. I also see that Holder has now thrown his hat in the ring in opposition to Schuelke's findings. Interesting stuff.


    I am confident Jeralyn will reply to your (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:16:41 AM EST

    The lack of criminal contempt (none / 0) (#17)
    by bmaz on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:29:09 AM EST
    ...finding by the special counsel Henry Schuelke was due to a finding that there technically needed to be a specific court order to comply with discovery, as opposed to a general ethical requirement, in that case for the court to be able to enter criminal contempt. The special counsel and court were, however, quite clear as to the gross misconduct they felt occurred.

    Layperson here (none / 0) (#20)
    by friendofinnocence on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:35:01 AM EST
    Are you saying as long as the judge is complicit in the withholding of discovery, the prosecutor can't be held criminally liable for subverting our system of justice?  What happens to the judge who didn't issue a court order such that the defendant can actually receive a fair trial?

    Absolutely am not saying that (none / 0) (#22)
    by bmaz on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:51:33 AM EST
    This was, and is, a very fine judge. His name is Emmet Sullivan, and he is the one who got pissed and appointed the special prosecutor to look at the unethical behavior of the prosecution in the first place. Most courts do not enter specific orders in every case commanding parties to do what they are already ethically and constitutionally required to do. It really was a bit of a technicality. You know about this today because of Emmet Sullivan, he was not the problem.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#27)
    by friendofinnocence on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:33:01 AM EST
    Thanks for taking the time to explain this.  I would think egregious discovery violations would be dealt with in a more dynamic fashion, but I am continually surprised - and shocked at times - with how the law actually works.  Like most complex systems, the more one knows about their intricacies, the easier it should be to understand why things work the way they do.

    Sadly, yes. (none / 0) (#42)
    by bmaz on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:05:41 AM EST
    Here is the coda you also probably don't know, but should. The only way DOJ attorneys get professionally sanctioned is through referral to what is called "OPR", which stands for the Office of Professional Responsibility. OPR is, itself, a part of DOJ run by....wait for it....DOJ attorneys. You can guess what type of oversight of their own results from that.

    oculis, stevens was a failed fed case (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dexter on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:07:57 AM EST
    Zimmerman is local.

    Anyone find it interesting the (none / 0) (#26)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:15:15 AM EST
    prosecutors turned down an interview on CNN, but said they will go on HLN after the verdict? Kind of tells you how fair HLN (Hysterical Ladies Network as they called it on AC) was.

    CNN (none / 0) (#33)
    by Mr Mark Martinson on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:14:03 AM EST
    I just saw Christopher Cuomo say that Zimmerman disregarded the dispatcher's instruction to stop following Martin.

    This is very sad.  No wonder why the media is held in low regard.


    Holy cow! Slap me! (none / 0) (#34)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:26:11 AM EST
    I just agreed 100% with Wendy Murphy. My world is upside down.

    What did she say? (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:31:36 AM EST
    Murphy said (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Mr Mark Martinson on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:49:52 AM EST
    . . . . that the prosecution was acting unprofessionally by using so much emotion.  They represent the public and should calmly present the facts and the law.

    Correcting trial facts that were (none / 0) (#38)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:59:06 AM EST
    misstated, says the ethical standards for a prosecutor, which she is, is to get to the truth, not to argue a case on emotions, which they did the entire case.

    Explained to Chris Cuomo, who should know better, that the only standard is the fear of bodily harm, it didn't matter how serious his injuries were. You don't have to wait until you're dead to defend yourself. One may not like the law, but it is the law and is a good one, compared it to rape victims not having to die to defend themselves.

    Lots more stuff. You can tell she watched. One legal person said GZ used racial epitaphs and she said no, the only racial epitaphs was from TM., not that that was the point, etc.


    Actually, (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Aunt Polgara on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:05:06 AM EST
    Depending on how you hyphenate the slur, it could be anti white or anti gay. Rachel apparently thought it was a gay slur.

    Did Trayvon say "creepy-a** cracker" or creepy a**-cracker"?

    When Rachel referred to Zimmerman as a pervert, it would seem that she took it as a gay slur.


    Good One! (none / 0) (#43)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:08:08 AM EST
    Had not thought of it that way, but makes sense. I guess it would depend on the local colloquial for gay guy and white guy.

    Oh, said prosecutors were (none / 0) (#39)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:59:54 AM EST
    unethical from beginning to end.

    Jury going to lunch (none / 0) (#40)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:01:11 AM EST
    I say no verdict today. I wonder if they take tomorrow off? They might need an emotional rest.

    I wouldn't be surprised (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:09:04 AM EST
    If they DO come back today.

    Unless there is total disgagreement, I think they took a vote yesterday to see where they where, and then, since it was a long and emotional day, took the night to let things gel and to settle their brains. Then they are being methodical to be sure they are comfortable with their decision.

    Also, from a human nature standpoint, they can go home and rest on Sunday.

    Just a thought....


    Yeah, knowing now they're working (none / 0) (#48)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:12:08 AM EST
    through lunch, they may not be as divided as I thought. If they were badly divided, I'd think they'd want a break from it just to think.

    check that - working through (none / 0) (#45)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:09:12 AM EST
    lunch. They wanted it brought to them. So maybe they do want to be through today.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:11:33 AM EST
    I think that is an indication that they are close to deciding.

    Squeaking, having been on the (none / 0) (#50)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:14:50 AM EST
    side waiting to hear a verdict on my brother, I can imagine the tension and total sickness they feel. Especially knowing the sentence as they do.

    Squeaky, I mean :) (none / 0) (#51)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:15:06 AM EST
    Not according to (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:11:03 AM EST
    the court PIO
    Jurors will pause deliberations from 12:00-1:00pm to eat lunch on site.

    Maybe they changed their mind (none / 0) (#49)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:13:15 AM EST
    The lawyers on CNN down there say eating and working. They weren't brought back in for their admonishments.

    Orlando sentinel tweet says they did indeed (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:27:12 PM EST
    pause deliberations till 1 while they ate. I guess they did not have to be re-instructed in court to do that.

    They could just be eating (none / 0) (#53)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:19:18 AM EST
    in the jury room, instead of letting them wander around (especially as there are protestors outside the courthouse).  When they started deliberating this morning, the instruction to not deliberate at lunch could have already been told to them.

    When I was on a jury recently we deliberated (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:54:59 AM EST
    through lunch. The deputy brought in sandwiches. The only order we had, which applied whenever we were deliberating, was that deliberation pause if we were not all in the room, e.g. If one of us were in the bathroom- bathroom was right off the jury room, not off the hall where the deputy sat.

    This was in neighboring Orange Co., not Seminole, but it sounds like what is going on.


    I remember it clearly because neat (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:57:06 AM EST
    freak that I am, it seemed dangerous to me- I was worried about people getting food on the evidence.

    Possible mystery DNA as newly-discovered (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:58:21 AM EST

    Hahaha! I should say it was all paper evidence... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:19:42 PM EST
    medical records and such. Nothing that could not have been reproduced.  No cause for concern besides the aesthetics of mustard on paper!

    HA HA! (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:58:30 AM EST
    For some reason, that comment just cracked me up.

    It wasn't given to them, though. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:39:17 AM EST
    I just read on Tennis' twitter that it is 15 minutes. I hope the judge changes that. I might see the whole trial and miss the verdict.

    She also said she's never seen this - the judge separated the alternates and kept them sequestered so they can't go home, even though they can't deliberate.


    Depends on the judge (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:43:26 AM EST
    And the local court rules.  

    When I was a court clerk, and we had a jury in deliberations through the lunch hour, they would be formally admonished by the judge before they were dismissed from court, but I or the court reporter were also instructed to go in during lunch and remind them of the judge's orders.

    My guess is, the clerk or bailiff probably brought lunch to them and was authorized to remind them not to deliberate until 1 pm, when they would officially "be started" again.

    It's not really that big a deal, as long as the judge ok's what's going on (or what isn't going on).


    I just saw the "protesters" on (none / 0) (#52)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:18:33 AM EST
    their local news. Very peaceful and larger than yesterday. There were people of different races, with opposite signs, sitting and standing right by each other. I'm glad to see that.

    Some pictures being tweeted (none / 0) (#78)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:11:33 PM EST
    JJ or Subway, not Quizno's (none / 0) (#70)
    by observed on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:40:15 PM EST

    I vote JJ (none / 0) (#72)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:42:29 PM EST
    So that's in the lead, so far.

    I think they have a split (none / 0) (#76)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    Murder Two is easy to throw out

    Self-defense, you either believe it or not

    Manslaughter is the only alternative.

    Unless the jury wants to be very very careful, even knowing their likely verdict.

    I think they want to be (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by goddessoftheclassroom on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:00:38 PM EST
    very, very careful.  They know the social implications.  

    Care (5.00 / 0) (#83)
    by woodchuck64 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:43:00 PM EST
    I don't think this is a trial about facts and evidence or it would have been over yesterday with acquittal.  The social implications are now the entire case.  The issue for the jury is an impossible one, but they seem to be taking it on: what judgment will best serve society.

    I think it's about the facts ... (1.00 / 0) (#85)
    by Yman on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:50:21 PM EST
    ... and evidence, which is precisely why it wasn't over yesterday.

    The facts and evidence aren't as clear as some people believe.


    Well and maybe these (5.00 / 0) (#103)
    by Tamta on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:41:42 PM EST
    individuals happen to be largely aware of their own biases or that they may have them, and making a concerted effort to return to the evidence with a different perspective.  

    I am not in law, so I experienced the trial to move rather quickly, and I would imagine that the styles of some of the attorneys, the many sidebars and short recesses may have made some feel that they were not fully able to engage with  the evidence.

    We have spent 16 months dissecting what we have known to be the evidence. They have had a couple of weeks.


    It is clear (none / 0) (#87)
    by woodchuck64 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:02:13 PM EST
    There is no question that there is reasonable doubt as to Zimmerman's guilt.  Nothing could be more clear than that. Therefore this trial should be over and the judgment for acquittal in the books.  

    And yet, ... (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Yman on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:02:23 PM EST
    ... it's not, so it must be a problem with those people who disagree with you and (presumably) think it's not as "clear" as you do.



    Not so (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by woodchuck64 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:14:47 PM EST
    There are many people who have adequately explained how Zimmerman might be guilty.  Many people have expressed that they're not certain he's completely innocent. But no one has explained how Zimmerman is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.  That's the key difference.   The latter must be achieved for a conviction.

    Oh, will you be the first to explain how Zimmerman is guilty beyond reasonable doubt?  Please do so, and provide a scenario for Zimmerman's guilt that better fits all facts, evidence and witness accounts than the scenario he has already provided for his innocence.  The prosecution didn't bother providing such a scenario, why do you think that is?  


    Answering your question (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by expy on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:27:32 PM EST
    The jury has the power and duty to decide which evidence it deems credible, which includes the power to decide (as the prosecution has argued) that GZ's account of the fight is a self-serving lie. So basically here are the elements leading to rejecting a reasonable doubt:

    1. The jury determines that would have been physically impossible (i.e., unreasonable) for Zimmerman to reach his gun and then shoot Martin directly through the chest from the position he claimed in his statements. (Martin on top, knees to armpits, slamming Zimmerman's head). So they believe that Martin had to have moved far enough away from Zimmerman immediately before the shooting to enable Zimmerman to reach his the gun that Zimmerman claimed was holstered behind his hip.

    2. Jury determines that last voice heard screaming on 911 tape could only have been Martin, not Zimmerman, agreeing with prosecution assertion that the fact that the screaming ceased immediately after the gunshot is proof that the screaming came from the shooting victim. That is, they do not think that it is reasonable to believe that a man with a gun in hand would be screaming like that, nor stop screaming immediately after the shot was fired, especially when he claims that he thought he had missed.

    The key is that the standard is not proof beyond all possible doubt, it is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the jury gets to decide what is reasonable. Rational and intelligent people can disagree on that. The jury's responsibility is to come to a consensus.

    Adding to what Woodchuck said (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:25:36 PM EST
    1. At least one witness -- I think Dennis Root -- explained that fights are dynamic situations. He said that as GZ tried to scoot, shrimp, wriggle or whatever, he might very well have been able to reach his gun. MOM demonstrated this on the doll.

    Guy also made his point on the doll, but the state presented no evidence that it would have been impossible for GZ to reach the gun. Also, the defense elicited testimony from Osterman that O listened to GZ and then wrote his book sometime afterward. We can't be sure O got it right.

    I don't understand how a reasonable person could not have some doubts about the prosecution's claims.

    2. Again, I don't understand how a reasonable person could not have some doubts about who was screaming. On the prosecution's side, the stepbrother expressed some doubts originally; the father's testimony clashes with what police officers said; and Sybrina Fulton didn't hear the tape with law enforcement officers present.

    On the defense side, I lost count of how many people said it was George's voice, including his father, who heard it at the PD, just like Tracy Martin did; his uncle, Jorge Meza, a well-respected law enforcement officer (the local lawyers doing commentary and Orlando reporters had kind words to say about him) said he recognized GZ's voice before he knew what was on TV; the compelling testament from the friend who was a medic in Vietnam; and eyewitness John Good, who thought the screams were from GZ.

    Immediately afterward, GZ said he was screaming. To me, the shrieks sounded like someone in pain.

    How could a reasonable person not have some doubts?    


    John Guy would say and did say in rebuttal..... (none / 0) (#155)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:36:26 PM EST
    look how many times GZ lied in his stories when you know and heard he got out of the car with a "f'ing punks" mindset. If you don't doubt he lied, then you don't need to know precisely the blow by blow of the fight, only that TM was shot and killed by someone who got out of his car with a loaded gun.

    With liberal friends today, (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:46:35 PM EST
    I got in a very loud argument, which is rare for me. A man argued that GZ deserved getting beaten up for following TM with a loaded gun, and he had no right to self-defense. One woman kept arguing that "he killed a kid" and had to be full of hate. The second said that, even if GZ was not technically guilty under FL law, it would be good to convict him to assure African Americans that they will be treated fairly under the law. (These friends were white, as am I.) The others then agreed that the jury should convict him, even if, according to the law, he didn't do anything illegal. Then they talked about how MLK and others broke laws that were unfair as part of civil disobedience.

    reasonable doubt (none / 0) (#120)
    by woodchuck64 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:54:50 PM EST
    Zimmerman must be determined by the jury to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt in order to be convicted.  

    The jury determines that would have been physically impossible for Zimmerman to reach his gun

    It is possible to suggest it might have been difficult, but flatly impossible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that this is physically impossible without reconstructing the event in exact detail.  The prosecution did not attempt to reconstruct the event, nor do we have enough details to do so. This would be a jury that is either out of touch with reality and physics or one who is ignoring their duty.

    Jury determines that last voice heard screaming on 911 tape could only have been Martin

    It is possible to suggest that it might have Martin's voice but flatly impossible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was Martin's voice.  Rejecting Zimmerman's family witnesses while accepting Martin's family is wholly arbitrary and not the standard for evaluating reasonable doubt, for example.  Again, this would be a jury that is either out of touch with reality or one who is ignoring their clear duty.

    You seem to think that the definition of "reasonable doubt" is subjective, flexible and open to diverse interpretation or whims, it is not.  It is a clear, high bar that must be hurdled; vague, poorly articulated misgivings won't cut it.


    "reasonable doubt" (none / 0) (#148)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:20:59 PM EST
    Does have a degree of subjectivity.  By definition, it has to...because it involves individual humans, in the first instance, and an attempt of said humans to reach a consensus in the second instance.  It is not a mathematical standard.

    Why even bother? (none / 0) (#182)
    by Yman on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:35:14 PM EST
    I know what the standard is for conviction.  You've made up your mind that it is impossible for a juror to weigh the evidence and find him guilty.

    I think that's silly - but nothing I say is going to convince you.


    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#79)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:30:49 PM EST
    There's a whole lot more to that interview with O'Mara on CNN. They're playing it now, so they'll probably put it up later.

    I'll link it if I get it. I learned a lot about the beginning of the case.

    I didn't know that not only hasn't O'Mara been paid, he's spent a lot of his own money on this case because he believes in it so strongly. He said he didn't determine that he was innocent until two weeks into his involvement (Apr 11).

    I knew that GZ was raised with a couple of black children in his home, I didn't know that his tutoring of black children was still current at the time of the shooting. He went to his prom with a black girl. He said not only is GZ not a racist, he's an anti-racist and we know about the homeless person beaten up he helped. They returned all donations that had anything that could even be taken as racists.

    Now addressing Bernie again, in more detail.

    I have to say (none / 0) (#121)
    by Bystander on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:55:30 PM EST
    in general, I've been really impressed with the the way O'Mara has handled himself, both in the courtroom, but especially with the media.  I haven't agreed with all his interpretations of the evidence as he's presented them, but he strikes me as being entirely upright, ethically and professionally. He seems genuinely interested in getting at the the truth in this case, not merely defending his client against reasonable doubt.

    BDLR and Crump on the other hand...


    maybe a strange idea (none / 0) (#81)
    by ZucchiTadre on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:35:19 PM EST
    but can a jury summon the defendant to ask them questions?

    Both sides have rested (none / 0) (#82)
    by Cylinder on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:41:55 PM EST

    No. Both sides have rested so the evidence is what exists already. Zimmerman invoked his right to remain silent. Some states do allow jurors to pose questions through the court but Florida is not one of them.


    What they can do (none / 0) (#84)
    by Cylinder on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:43:18 PM EST
    What the jurors can do is review Zimmerman's statements that have been entered into evidence.

    We allow juror questions in Tenn (none / 0) (#86)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:55:08 PM EST
    I think they leave it up to the judge, but it's fascinating.

    The longer they deliberate (none / 0) (#89)
    by DennisD on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:19:09 PM EST
    the greater the chance of a guilty verdict? If the jury thought Zimmerman's self-defense was justified would they still be out?

    They might not be able to reach a (none / 0) (#107)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:57:02 PM EST
    unanimous verdict but are continuing to deliberate.  

    Someone on the jury must be stupid (1.00 / 6) (#108)
    by rickroberts on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:01:05 PM EST
    There is no other explanation.

    I think "stupid" is (5.00 / 4) (#129)
    by expy on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:01:55 PM EST
    the inability to see and understand the other side of an argument.

    Everyone operates from a position of cognitive bias. It is how the human brain is structured -- we embrace and remember facts and observations that tend to reinforce our pre-existing believes, and ignore or reject fats and observations that tend to challenge those beliefs.  

    When a person declares that they are convinced of X and anyone who disagrees is "stupid" (or a "nitwit", another word being used all over this thread) -- that is merely evidence of the X-believer's own confirmation bias: that person has merely closed their minds off to every data point that those who disbelieve premise X are relying on.

    In a courtroom, an attorney who cannot see and fully understand the other side's position is in trouble, because it is harder for that attorney to anticipate and effectively counter arguments that might be raised against his assertions. I think the ability to engage in role-reversal and play devil's advocate is extremely important for a good attorney-- it's a way of overcoming one's own mental blind spots.


    half the population (none / 0) (#141)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:15:23 PM EST
    has a below average IQ.  If they did not how would one ever be guaranteed a jury of one's peers?

    Just six jurors too (none / 0) (#153)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:33:28 PM EST
    President of Norfolk VA chapter. (none / 0) (#99)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:13:36 PM EST
    Not THE  NAACP.  And he posted something kinda obnoxious about TM, so there's that too.

    This is a great, great blog. (none / 0) (#106)
    by PiratesSmile on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:49:13 PM EST
    I have so many questions and don't know where to actually start? I guess I can start here: If G. Zimmerman is found not guilty, can he still be held accountable civilly for Trayvon's death like OJ Simpson was? And if not, can the HOA recoup the million dollar settlement they gave to the Martins if a "Not Guilty" is rendered by the jury?  

    HOA (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:42:07 PM EST
    I'm guessing the HOA paid because they hadn't installed security cameras yet, people had complained about the poor lighting, and they hadn't yet closed up the short cut.

    Hmmm...wonder what this means (none / 0) (#110)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:04:07 PM EST
    Kathi Belich, WFTV @KBelichWFTV
    We were told the alternates who've been excused can't talk until the verdict is in by court administrators. #Zimmermanon9

    Never mind (none / 0) (#111)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:04:54 PM EST
    I read it wrong and thought the alternates were IN with court administrators, so maybe that a verdict was near.

    Please ignore.


    everyone going in to the court room (none / 0) (#119)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:54:04 PM EST
    what's going on?

    Jury question (none / 0) (#122)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:57:08 PM EST
    Question re: manslaughter instruction (none / 0) (#123)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:58:06 PM EST
    Kathi Belich, WFTV @KBelichWFTV
    The jury has a question about manslaughter jury instruction. #Zimmermanon9

    That's kind of telling, wouldn't you all agree? (none / 0) (#125)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:59:21 PM EST
    Is this being covered live? (none / 0) (#138)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:11:54 PM EST
    Yes, nonstop all-day (none / 0) (#142)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:16:13 PM EST
    I have it on in the background as I catch up on some work.....

    30 minute break by court....They had a lengthy bench conference.  The prosecution jury instruction lawyer (the younger blond guy) was doing most of the talking.  It looked to me as if they hashed out a statement on a yellow legal pad that the Judge would read to the jury.

    The Judge will probably refer the jury to the instructions already given...  


    Agree re your last sentence. (none / 0) (#156)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:38:12 PM EST
    Court:  you have all the jury instructions yer gonna git!

    Apparently not so (none / 0) (#159)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:52:38 PM EST
    Florida is different.

    So very true! (none / 0) (#163)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:08:33 PM EST
    Hee hee...definitely have to (none / 0) (#167)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:36:02 PM EST
    adjust your expectations accordingly

    CNN banner says 'juror question'. (none / 0) (#124)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:58:22 PM EST
    They want clarification (none / 0) (#126)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:59:35 PM EST
    over manslaughter instructions.

    Asking to have Manslaughter (none / 0) (#127)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:59:45 PM EST
    clarified to them.

    Not good news (none / 0) (#128)
    by DennisD on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:01:00 PM EST
    for Zimmerman it looks like.

    Except probably no murder 2 conviction. (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:03:10 PM EST
    Manslaughter (none / 0) (#131)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:04:20 PM EST
    Still carries up to 30 years in FL.

    Court is in recess for 30 minutes (none / 0) (#133)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:07:59 PM EST
    while they figure out how to answer jury's question.

    What's the question specifically? (none / 0) (#134)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:09:22 PM EST
    Can't vouch this is word for word (none / 0) (#137)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:11:29 PM EST
    Andrew Branca, LOSD @LawSelfDefense
    #zimmermantrial Jury: "May we please have clarification on instructions regarding manslaughter?"

    It will probably be answered with.... (none / 0) (#139)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:14:27 PM EST
    'reread and figure it out; do your best.'

    Yep (none / 0) (#143)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:16:45 PM EST
    That's what I think too.

    Yep (none / 0) (#145)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:17:12 PM EST
    My guess is they were talking about which numbered instructions to refer the jury to....

    How do you know that's the purpose? (none / 0) (#136)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:11:01 PM EST
    How do you know that 30 minutes is for figuring out how to answer the question?  Maybe counsel agreed on an answer, or perhaps posed a question back to the jury, as "clarification on manslaughter" is a pretty broad issue to tackle.

    Not saying my speculation is correct, just wondering how you know the time is for preparation of an answer for the jury.


    From reading (none / 0) (#140)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:14:45 PM EST
    tweets of court watchers there - it appears that the judge is researching whether to give the jurors additional jury instructions.

    Normally, if it's an easy question, the judge will bring the parties in, say "I have a question from the jury."  Tell them the question and they decide how they will answer.  If it's easy, it takes a couple of minutes to put it on the record, and the judge sends a note back with the answer.


    Because that's what Judge Nelson said (none / 0) (#144)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:17:02 PM EST
    as I recall, on the CNN broadcast from the courtroom.

    Could be one holdout for conviction (none / 0) (#154)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:35:04 PM EST
    and the other five are indulging her by going to the instructions on manslaughter.

    if they find he was defending himself (none / 0) (#135)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:09:46 PM EST
    how can it be manslaughter?  Oh well, I am not sure why we have come to this place where there has to be compromise and everyone gets a win or "it's not fair".  

    They can't (none / 0) (#146)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:18:17 PM EST
    Perhaps, as Mr. O'Mara urged them, (none / 0) (#149)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:21:41 PM EST
    the jury first deliberated but rejected self defense, also rejected murder 2, and is now deliberating the manslaughter count.  

    manslaughter instruction from J's link (none / 0) (#147)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:20:17 PM EST
    Formatting is whacked because it's being pasted from a PDF file.

    To prove the crime of Manslaughter, the State must prove the following
    two elements
    beyond a reasonable doubt:
    Trayvon Martin
    is dead.
    George Zimmerman
    intentionally committed an act or acts that
    caused the
    death of
    Trayvon Martin
    George Zimmerman
    cannot be guilty of manslaughter by committing a merely negligent
    act or if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide:
    Each of us has a duty to act reasonably toward others. If there is a violation of that
    duty, without any conscious intention to harm, that violation is negligence.
    The killing of a hu
    man being is justifiable homicide and lawful if necessarily done while
    resisting an attempt to murder or commit a felony upon
    George Zimmerman
    , or to commit a
    felony in any dwelling house in which
    George Zimmerman
    was at the time of the killing.
    The kill
    ing of a human being is excusable, and therefore lawful, under any one of the
    following three circumstances:
    When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by
    lawful means with usual ordinary caution and without any unlaw
    ful intent, or
    When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any
    sudden and sufficient provocation, or
    When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune resulting from a sudden
    combat, if a dangerous weapon is not
    used and the killing is not done in a cruel or
    unusual manner.
    In order to convict of manslaughter by act, it is not necessary for the State to prove that
    George Zimmerman
    had an intent to cause death, only an intent to commit an act that was not
    negligent, justified, or excusable and which caused death.
    If you find
    George Zimmerman
    committed Manslaughter, and you also find beyond a
    reasonable doubt that during the commission
    of the
    George Zimmerman
    , displayed, used, threat
    ened to use, or attempted to use a
    you should check
    the appropriate box on the verdict form which I will discuss with you later in these instructions.
    The definition of a
    has been previously provided in these instructions.

    Always thought manslaughter (none / 0) (#157)
    by DennisD on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:42:45 PM EST
    could be the verdict. Essentially, someone could simply think Zimmerman wasn't injured enough, and with circumstances like a dead unarmed teenager his fear was not reasonable/justified.

    I wrote yesterday that I thought O'Mara didn't argue enough about self-defense being reasonable.

    Toss it back to jury (none / 0) (#158)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:49:35 PM EST
    Seems counsel and the Judge agree that they will toss the question back to the jury to ask them to be more specific about their question.

    Guy has been (none / 0) (#160)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:57:51 PM EST
    sitting at the table for quite some time looking at his phone.  He looks like he might break his phone.

    There is a lot of kinetic energy that he throws off.

    Jury has ordered dinner (none / 0) (#161)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:00:01 PM EST
    Could be verdict tonight.

    The effort to reach one tonight.... (none / 0) (#164)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:13:50 PM EST
    .... is there at least, even if they don't get there.

    The hours in this case (none / 0) (#165)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:22:05 PM EST
    are very long.

    Until 10 one night, then now Saturday and past 7 at night.

    Not like "civil" litigation. As in keep a civil tongue in your head, as in civilization and civility and "civilized."

    In the civilized world, they start at 9:30 a.m. and stop for lunch with a break in between.  Then they go from 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. with another break.  Three days a week, maybe four.  That is civilized.



    But factor in sequestering n (5.00 / 0) (#166)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:32:51 PM EST
    Manslaughter (none / 0) (#162)
    by Blast Freezer on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:05:51 PM EST
    In this case I've always found the concept of manslaughter to be odd.  If Zimmerman is found guilty of manslaughter, then I have to wonder what the jury thought his other options were.  A defense expert in the use of force testified that GZ had no other reasonable option.  It is incredible to me that someone would believe -- beyond all reasonable doubt -- that Zimmerman had other options during the moment in which he was being beaten.  What are these other options?  Lay there are get beaten for as long as Martin wanted to beat him?  

    Or if the jury were to believe that Zimmerman's other option was to "stay in the car," and not even approach the area in which Martin was located, then this has unfortunate consequences for the whole idea of self-defense.  Under that theory, in effect one could be considered criminally liable for entirely legal actions that led to a situation in which the use of lethal force in self-defense was necessary.

    In other words, in the context of a hypothetical manslaughter conviction, at what point can  Zimmerman become criminally culpable:

    1.  getting out of the car, or
    2.  entering the area in which Martin was located, or
    3.  shooting Martin while being beaten by him (possibly because GZ had unreasonable fear)?

    I'm not an attorney and may not have stated the question correctly, but if anyone has some insight into the manslaughter issue I would appreciate it.

    His other options for (none / 0) (#168)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:41:30 PM EST
    stopping the beating were to do more of what he showed he could do: move around on the ground, use his hands and arms, use his legs...no one is saying he had to just lay there. How was deadly force the ONLY option he had?

    Self-defense not always applicable (none / 0) (#172)
    by expy on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:58:12 PM EST
    I don't know whether the jury was originally given this instruction, but basically a person who provokes a fight cannot claim "self defense" unless they clearly manifested an intent to withdraw from the fight at some point.  

    Think in terms of this hypothetical:  A starts a fist fight with B, pushing, shoving and punching him. A has a firearm, B does not.  B fights back and at some point gains the advantage in the fight A started, and B then pulls out his gun and shoots A.

    Factually the self-defense argument is the same no matter who started the fight, but legally there is a different standard.  A cannot claim "self-defense" unless there is something other than B's fighting back that changed A's role from aggressor to victim.  

    If you think about this outside the context of the Zimmerman case it makes a lot of sense. You wouldn't want the law to be written in a way that bullies could go around beating up on people and then shooting anyone who fought back in "self defense".

    There is a "provocation" instruction in Florida, and whether or not that fits this case and can be given to the jury is something for the judge to decide.


    Aggressor Statute (none / 0) (#174)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:30:34 PM EST
    Not included as Zimmerman has self-defense claim.

    Frank Tappy (sp?) (none / 0) (#170)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:47:57 PM EST
    Zimmerman's next door neighbor just said on Fox he knows it is currently 5-1 for not guilty and they are looking at manslaughter instruction to convinced the hold out.

    How in the heck would he know that?  Only perhaps would a bailiff know something like that.

    What a tool (5.00 / 0) (#173)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:24:35 PM EST
    The bailiff would have no idea about that unless a juror told him and there should be a mistrial in that case.

    Typical Fox BS.


    Richard Hornsby (none / 0) (#175)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:34:25 PM EST
    isn't always right, but he said it could have been written on the letter to the judge, saying something like we're stuck 5-1 and that juror has this question...

    He said there is no gag order in place and John Guy looked very unhappy.

    I agree with you though. I've never seen that man, but my brother told me he's nutty.


    In that instance, one would (none / 0) (#176)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:45:22 PM EST
    think the Judge would read the entire note from the Jury for record, i.e., so the court reporter could take it down....

    If I am a Defense counsel, I would want that (5-1) part of the note in the record.....


    I missed the TV part where Judge Nelson (5.00 / 0) (#177)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:54:11 PM EST
    initially read the question, but saw after the 30 minute recess as she was indicating that the court reporter had it in her record. Certainly the first I hard about this 5-1 thing...if it WAS in the note, it must not have been read in open court or all of the pundits would be talking about it, not just this one. Color me doubtful.

    Nothing was said aloud about a count (none / 0) (#180)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:02:57 PM EST
    in what I saw, and I think I saw all of the events in court.

    John Guy could very well be unhappy (none / 0) (#178)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:55:39 PM EST
    if Murder 2 is off the table.

    PreliminaryJury Vote? (none / 0) (#179)
    by Synthesist on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:57:23 PM EST
    But, is it normal for a jury to give a preliminary vote count when asking the court a question?

    Yes, I call... (none / 0) (#181)
    by bmaz on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:30:33 PM EST
    ...horse manure on Frank Taffe. That stuff just doesn't get out to anybody, much less him. If it really did, I will be shocked beyond j=human belief.

    Yep. (none / 0) (#183)
    by Synthesist on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:46:23 AM EST
    I've never heard of a jury revealing a vote count when asking the court a question during deliberations. Looks like Pure Bovine Excrement to me...

    Frank Taafe Has No Idea (none / 0) (#171)
    by rcade on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:56:42 PM EST
    A lot of what he says is for shock value. He's on HLN four hours a night. He has no way of knowing anything about the internal deliberations of the jury.