George Zimmerman: NOT GUILTY

There's a verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.

Not Guilty!!!!

GPS monitor ordered removed, bond discharged.

Congratulations to Mark O'Mara, Don West, Jury consultant Robert Hirschhorn and all of the defense team. They prevailed over a prosecutor who bowed to public pressure and private interests in overcharging this case as second degree murder.

< Zimmerman: Can the Jury Hear the Protesters? | Angela Corey: Doublespeak >
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    Not guilty. Period. (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:59:40 PM EST

    Not to some... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Robocop on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:23:38 PM EST
    Rev Sharpton now expects the civil process to go forward, and for the Feds to reopen their investigation.

    I guess the sting of Tawana Brawley wore off (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by scribe on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:38:53 PM EST
    and the Rev. Al needs another lesson in "Why Rev. Al's crowd-baiting is a Bad Idea."

    And, in the civil case, Crump had better be disqualified.  If I was Zimmerman, I might even join the Rev. Al as a party-defendant.


    Tragic Case (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:10:46 PM EST
    I am glad that the Jury was able to reach a not-guilty verdict, but sad that Martin died and that his death was used in such an ugly way to promote many agendas that had nothing to do with Zimmerman or Martin.

    Judge Nelson looked happy (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:16:02 PM EST
    she almost smiled

    On Nelson smiling (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by friendofinnocence on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:24:08 PM EST
    It got her off the hook for her reversible errors, I do believe.

    Well the DCA Won't Overturn the Verdict (1.00 / 2) (#24)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:27:57 PM EST
    It vindicates her slapping of the defense for their time wasting tactics.  She knew very well that the prosecution didn't have a case and it was just necessary to go through the motions of a trial.

    Under the Double Jeopardy Clause (none / 0) (#30)
    by Peter G on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:34:03 PM EST
    the state cannot appeal a Not Guilty verdict by a jury.  It is absolutely final.

    George, his family and friends (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by lily on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:17:36 PM EST
    could not have behaved more respectfully.
    thank God Jeralyn was wrong.

    what was i wrong about? (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:23:59 PM EST
    Did you suggest the jury would come back (none / 0) (#82)
    by lily on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:15:15 PM EST
    with Manslaughter?

    not at all (none / 0) (#159)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 04:07:14 AM EST
    Thanks to Jeralyn!!!!!!! (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by DennisD on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:19:00 PM EST
    I remember you from that case in Boulder and you were my favorite. Your blog has informed and educated me and I truly appreciate your hard work.

    I also want to say I was wrong about a compromise verdict being probable because of bargaining and I'm heartened that the legal system worked in this case.

    Now, can anyone tell me why the manslaughter question was asked and then a verdict so quickly after? One juror needed to be sure?

    Thanks Again Jeralyn!!!!!

    Angela Corey giving a statement (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Quintus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:19:35 PM EST
    yadda yadda yadda. I won't comment about her press conference but the fact that she's smiling makes me want to puke.

    Thank goodness.... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MikeB on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:21:38 PM EST
    ...and I hope Zimmerman has some recourse to reverse some of the damage caused by what I feel is malicious prosecution. I haven't seen anything close to even probable cause established.

    Great Coverage Jeralyn!! (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:22:01 PM EST
    I learned a lot from this one thanks to you and many of the fabulous commenters at TL.

    I don't know how you do it (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Buckeye on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:22:46 PM EST

    I was feeling sick to my stomach with nerves just watching this from my couch and I have nothing to do with this.

    How difficult is it for you defending a client waiting on the verdict?

    agonizing (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:25:45 PM EST
    In a case where the charges involve prison time, there's nothing that compares to it.

    Angela Corey is so full of crapola (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by Buckeye on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:25:39 PM EST
    She is saying they were handicapped by the fact that the case was already investigated for over a month before they could do their own investigation

    She was handicapped because (5.00 / 7) (#23)
    by friendofinnocence on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:27:49 PM EST
    Chief Lee was right and she was wrong from the beginning.

    Bernie finally took over (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:31:46 PM EST
    While the legal process has reached (5.00 / 6) (#26)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:30:13 PM EST
    its conclusion, I don't think there's anyone involved in this incident for whom it will ever really be over.

    The Martin family lost their son, and you can be sure they will, for a long, long time, look at every decision they ever made about their son and wonder if whether they'd done something different, he'd still be alive.  They will wonder about his decisions that night, and they may even feel some anger about those decisions.  They will have to deal with the fact that if he'd left the house 5 minutes earlier, maybe none of this would ever have happened.

    George Zimmerman has to live with the fact that, whether he felt justified, whether he had no intent, he killed someone.  I can't even imagine what that feels like, to take someone's life, even if in the heat of the moment, he felt it was the only way to save his own life.

    His family has to live with that, too.  And don't think there isn't stigma and judgment against people whose family member shot and killed someone; there is.

    For both these families, people will gawk and point and stare, some with anger and hatred, some with pity.  It will be hard.  

    I'll be interested to see if we hear at all from the jurors, whether they believed in Zimmerman's innocence or felt the prosecution simply failed to prove guilt.

    I hope all involved can find some peace, but I don't think it's going to come easy.

    Truism (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:35:03 PM EST
    I don't think there's anyone involved in this incident for whom it will ever really be over.

    Nothing new about that, imo. Anyone who goes through the court system, even with an encounter that doesn't result in a death, will carry the scar for the rest of their life.  


    Anne, give up (3.00 / 3) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:22:24 PM EST
    "even if in the heat of the moment,"

    The jury believed.


    Congratulations TalkLeft (5.00 / 6) (#28)
    by Cylinder on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:32:51 PM EST
    You played a part in this victory as well. Speaking truth when the truth is popular is no real feat. You are a soldier.

    By far the most educated, rational and temperate discussion of this case.

    BDLR is still arguing the case of teevee. No Bernie, the jury just said those are not the facts.

    Bernie (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:33:33 PM EST
    They started out gracious and now have gone into pissed mode. This isn't good. They should be gracious like the Martins. They just wanted it before a jury they said and would accept that.

    These prosecutors are making a major mistake.

    My suggestion would be to consider (2.80 / 5) (#42)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:53:43 PM EST
    these post-verdict pronouncements as little more than attempts to save face, and let it go.

    Or, if you want to be charitable, consider them messages to the many who could be angry enough to do more than peacefully protest.

    If how the State of Florida handled the Zimmerman case is at all typical of how the justice system "works" there, all I can say is that it simply proves that where one lives has a lot to do with how well one will be afforded his or her constitutionally-guaranteed rights and protections.  But just as public defenders labor to provide quality representation at low pay and with crushing workloads, so do prosecutors labor under similar conditions; we need to remember that for every person facing criminal prosecution, there is also a victim, and those victims deserve better than the public funding and staffing affords them.  

    This case has taken up a big space in your life, Teresa; I hope you can fill it with something that makes you feel good, or happy, or contented, because there's just nothing to be gained from perpetuating the anger now that the jury has weighed in.


    West is still madder than Bernie (none / 0) (#38)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:43:46 PM EST
    Unfair. (5.00 / 6) (#69)
    by indy in sc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:36:36 PM EST
    This is a defense site and Jeralyn is a criminal defense lawyer.  It would have been hypocritical of her to argue for the prosecution here regardless of how she may personally feel about the whole thing.  You don't always get to like your defendant or your facts, but every defendant deserves a vigorous defense and the State has to prove its case.

    I have disagreed with Jeralyn vehemently on this case about many things, but I always appreciate her take and her tireless dedication to making sure that, if the State is going to deprive you of your liberty, there had better be no doubt about your guilt.

    I deleted that comment (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:01:19 AM EST
    and zapped the user's account and prior comments. Personal attacks with name-calling are not allowed here, including on me or TalkLeft.

    Thank you (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by indy in sc on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:06:10 AM EST
    for the work you do.  I know it is often thankless, and worse, attacked.  Every freedom-loving person should hug a defense attorney! :)

    thanks for still being here (5.00 / 4) (#103)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:09:51 AM EST
    even though you have disagreed with me about this case -- and even defending me. I'm very flattered.

    Maybe you'll be deleted (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:39:41 PM EST
    In case you aren't, you should know that Jeralyn isn't the only leftist/liberal/progressive/Democrat/whatever that agreed with the defense.

    Convicting GZ would have given a stamp of approval to a Tea Party governor and prosecutor who manipulated the system to give more power to the state over a lower-middle-class Hispanic.

    To paraphrase Mark O'Mara: I'm happy to talk about how the system mistreats young black men, but this case isn't an example of that.

    another one (none / 0) (#94)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:47:51 PM EST
    On Thursday or Friday, nancy grace had among her list of lawyer commentators a black fellow lawyer.  Nancy was asking their views and as usual, expecting them to affirm guilt in some degree . . .  This fellow (an African Am usualy liberal laywer) said, A year ago I was agreeing with all the pro-prosecution story in the media, but I have gradually changed as more and more evidence has come out, and I now believe the defense is right.  I forget his name; I think it was Copeland or Copely or something.  

    Tell me it wasn't... (none / 0) (#154)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 04:09:29 PM EST

    The dearth of thinking Democrats (5.00 / 7) (#77)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:54:34 PM EST
    is why I'm now an Independent now.

    Please read the Constitution.

    I disagree with Jeralyn, often.  But I could not do her job, not for a minute, and I am darn glad that we have defense lawyers like Jeralyn and others here who educate me as to what the Constitution really means.  

    I agree (none / 0) (#86)
    by lousy1 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:24:32 PM EST
    Its too bad that many on both sides of the political spectrum are blinded by ideology.

    I had set aside some cash for the Zimmerman appeal. Due in no small part to the work of JL and many others on this site that is no longer required.

    I intend to reroute some of these funds planning to this site. It will not be wasted.



    thank you! (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:56:27 PM EST
    NOT GUILTY. (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Synthesist on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:11:20 PM EST
    Justice Was Done.

    There was not enough evidence to prove that George Zimmerman committed a crime of manslaughter, much less murder 2, that night.

    There was enough evidence that he acted in reasonable self defense.

    He should have never even been arrested and charged.

    It is extremely sad that politicians high-jacked the Florida legal system to railroad an innocent man through a political show trial, all in an apparent effort to appease some partisan interest.

    Thank goodness that this jury showed more integrity than the cowards that persecuted George Zimmerman.

    What an ignorant, illiberal and (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:18:38 PM EST
    unprogressive rant.   A good citizen would ask only for a fair trial for the accused.   This became a political case as soon as the tea party, Medicare-fraud governor of Florida stepped in and then appointed Angela Corey, whose first action was to hold hands with the parents and pray to Jesus, as if she was the appointed preacher-in-chief rather than prosecutor.

    Then she over-charged with Murder 2, entering a complaint that was legally empty.  The prosecution did not know or could not prove without reasonable doubt what happened that tragic and terrible night, yet it expected the jury to do so.  Jeralyn is the good citizen;  Unjust rants and intimidation baed on viewpoints reflect bad citizenry.

    Note to JM. (none / 0) (#85)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:23:43 PM EST
    My rating was intended to be a "l"  not a 5.   Regrets if the rating of "5" gave a false sense of agreement or approval.

    Change IT (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:27:05 PM EST
    You can change ratings any time.

    Didn't (none / 0) (#118)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:42:07 AM EST
    realize that.

    Thanks for the info.


    Ministerial details (5.00 / 0) (#95)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:56:25 PM EST
    Is Zimmerman free to have a beer in celebration?  Can he get rid of the GPS monitor?

    I'll imagine he is in for one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride, now that the criminal trial has resolved.  He better take good care of his health, this is a massive stresser, heart attack probability enhancer for a good year, even though the outcome is a "happy" one.

    yes, he can do whatever he wants (none / 0) (#101)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:04:51 AM EST
    the GPS was ordered removed and bond was discharged. He's free to do whatever he wants.

    I assume he gets his gun back (none / 0) (#144)
    by ruffian on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:32:13 PM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#157)
    by Cylinder on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:35:41 PM EST
    The court ordered the evidence released. Zimmerman will be allowed to retreive what left of his clothing, his boots, both flashlights and - if he choses - his firearm. Likewise, Martin;s estate will be able to recover his belongings, the fruit juice, Skittles bag, what's left of the clothing, phone, headset, money and the 7-11 bag.

    Did they ever locate Martin's shoes? I was confused on that point.


    You are so out of line. (5.00 / 0) (#97)
    by caseyOR on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:57:33 PM EST
    I have disagreed with Jeralyn on this case, but TL is a criminal defense site. Jeralyn is a criminal defense lawyer. She approached this case from that perspective. It has zero to do with where she falls on the personal political philosophy scale.

    There is no need for your nastiness here.  

    Zimmerman family spokesperson (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by lily on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:35:10 AM EST
    Robert Jr just one hour after the verdict. Robert raises the dialog above Piers level, at times leaving him speechless.


    Piers Morgan doesn't get it (none / 0) (#112)
    by ExcitableBoy on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:48:52 AM EST
    He clearly doesn't accept the verdict. I'd never seen George's brother speak before. He gave an incredibly eloquent interview, and perfectly explained the jury's decision.

    Agenda on display (5.00 / 5) (#113)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:02:21 AM EST
    Back to the "doing nothing wrong, carrying skittles" argument.  Even if Zimmerman's suspicion was unfounded (I think it was founded), it was not Zimmerman's choice to get punched in the face and taken to the ground; and I'm not buying the argument that punching somebody in the face and taking them to the ground, causing them fear, is acceptable conduct.

    The press is despicable.


    Zimmerman family (none / 0) (#148)
    by lily on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:10:42 PM EST
    are amazing people, calm, deliberate, just, caring, and altruistic. Robert jr has changed many pundits opinions and bias with his reasoned, direct approach, even Bill Maher was impressed with Robert. When Robert explained how George was the first to support him when he came out as a gay Latino Catholic it was a profound testament to the tolerance and love integral to this family.

    Piers Morgan is horrible (none / 0) (#124)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:26:59 AM EST
    I saw that interview.  He is pretending the court case never happened and there was no evidence showing TM assaulted GZ. He's right back on the skittles and fruit juice.

    Query, if the state should not have (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:24:05 AM EST
    a criminal case against defendant, why did the jury take the time it did to return a verdict of not guilty?

    Query? (none / 0) (#108)
    by Synthesist on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:08:46 AM EST
    I think that the only legitimate answer to that query would have to be provided by the jurists setting on this case.

    Of course you are correct. I am (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:20:50 AM EST
    thinking of all the prior comments denigrating the jury for not returning a verdict of not guilty ASAP.

    Oh, O.K. (none / 0) (#110)
    by Synthesist on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 04:25:37 AM EST
    I have to admit that I personally got very worried also that the jury was taking such a long time to announce a verdict of not guilty.

    But of course, if they had announced a very quick not guilty verdict, they would have been accused in many quarters of a rush to judgment.


    Yikes... (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by ZucchiTadre on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 04:36:49 AM EST
    The conversation turns weird when comment(s) are deleted.  Not sure who is talking to who in here.

    I cannot fathom (5.00 / 3) (#123)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:24:15 AM EST
    how an individual can instigate a confrontation, then claim self defense when it turns around him. Disgraceful verdict. The one thing that all you Zimmerman apologists seem to gloss over is the fact that Zimmerman started this. He engaged Trayvon Martin and then it went bad for him.

    I am an advocate for the right to self defense. Even deadly force if need be. But if you put a confrontation in motion, you lose the right to claim self defense when it goes bad for you.

    This is like some guy breaking into my house. I catch him and hit him with a baseball bat. He pulls out a gun, shoots and kills me. He now gets to claim self defense???? He put the confrontation in motion.

    No one, not one single person should end up dead for the mere act of walking home in a hoodie in this country. At a minimum, Zimmerman should have been convicted of manslaughter.

    so if I am watching you (1.00 / 1) (#127)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:45:04 AM EST
    to see if you are going to break in to my neighbors house which had been broken in to recently, you can come knock me down and beat me up and I should just take it?  Because I am not going to just take it. Maybe I should not have been suspicious of you, and that pisses you off but I'm still not going to let you sit on me and beat me in the face and head and do nothing about it.
    I am sorry you are upset about this.  While young men have a right to walk in peace, young men also have a right to watch their neighbor's houses when there has been a lot of crime.  TM should have talked to GZ instead of punching him in the face.

    Seems to me (5.00 / 4) (#128)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:52:27 AM EST
    That you are taking Zimmerman's narrative as gospel despite the fact that we know that Zimmerman was at least somewhat agitated, given his conversation with the dispatcher.  

    Maybe Zimmerman is telling the complete truth.  It's also possible he was lying to cover his ass.


    No one... (none / 0) (#129)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:10:21 AM EST
    needs to take anything as Gospel.  

    There was no evidence to support it.  If there was, the Prosecution would not have to have relied on emotion to make their case.  They would have relied on that fact.

    More than a few people have stated elsewhere..."Well, he should have been convicted of something."  What something?  

    I am very sorry that young man lost his life.  Equally, I am sorry that Zimmerman had to go through all of this without a solid case being made against him.


    A lack of evidence (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:23:00 AM EST
    does not prove innocence.  

    I am speaking to the assumption that Zimmerman's version of events is 100% accurate.  

    Maybe Martin attacked Zimmerman unprovoked.  Maybe not.  We'll never know because we will never know Martin's version of the story.


    a lack of evidence (none / 0) (#132)
    by ding7777 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:42:36 AM EST
    proves Not Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Does it matter whether Martin attacked Zimmerman unprovoked or Zimmerman attacked Martin unprovoked?

    When Good came out, Martin had a choice.  Martin chose to continued the ground and pound.  


    Well more precisely (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:46:38 AM EST
    he was determined Not Guilty due to a beyond reasonable doubt standard.  

    Martin did have a choice.  As did Zimmerman.  Only one of them turned up dead and I don't know what you mean by ground and pound.  


    I try very hard... (none / 0) (#139)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:21:24 PM EST
    not to assume anything.  I thought there were some valid questions in my mind that the Prosecution would clear up. For instance, through the testimony of Jeantel, they could explain that 4 minutes.  They never even got close.

    I have said many times since last summer that if they couldn't address that 4+min gap, that Zimmerman would always have a claim of Self-Defense.

    I thought, in the beginning, that manslaughter would be the correct charge until the DocDumps started and I was able to read reports, all of them with the exception of the DNA. (way out of my page grade)

    The more I researched the more I came to be convinced that he was innocent of the charges brought.  That is what brought me to this site.  Where things that I (IANAL)could not express properly were being discussed in a manner which I could understand.

    You say that innocence was not proven but there was no check box for that option on the verdict form.

    Sorry for being on a soap box.  I got engrossed with myself.


    There was a court case (none / 0) (#149)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:10:57 PM EST
    did you miss it?

    There was evidence, there were witnesses.  Do we really need to go back over it?


    How did he (none / 0) (#125)
    by jbindc on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:31:42 AM EST
    "instigate a confrontation", pray tell?

    Wrong (none / 0) (#126)
    by Darby on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:40:49 AM EST
    Because there is no evidence that z confronted m or in any way broke the law.  Period   M wasn't just walking home    He assaulted Zimmerman which is  why he ended up dead

    The behavior of many liberals was disheartening (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by Babel 17 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 11:12:27 AM EST
    An often used argument in discussions of this case was to ask people to imagine if the identities of the defendant and the dead teenager were reversed.

    But what I don't recall getting asked is for those people to remember how outraged we get when the prosecution unfairly targets people to whom we have sympathy. What sticklers for the justice system we then become!

    I can understand people hoping for jury nullification to free someone they believe has been railroaded by liars and doctored evidence.

    But it's been an eyeopener to see liberals yell for jury nullification in order to convict somebody. And not because there is evidence of guilt that couldn't be admitted because of arcane technicalities, no, but rather because of being influenced by the volume of those thinking they saw a behavior that sort of fits a pattern involved in hate crimes.

    That's all it took for them to demand jury nullification. And they are oblivious to the irony of that! They live in ignorance of all the juries of the past that convicted defendants that they weren't sympathetic towards. How many poor blacks, vagrants, etc., have been convicted simply because "there's been a lot of this going around" in the eyes of some juries?

    And now I'm seeing professional journalists, and intellectuals, dumping on the jury. That is a disgrace and imo needs to be called out.

    believe me (none / 0) (#150)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:16:01 PM EST
    no matter how much you point it out, people will not get it.  It is very disheartening.

    I'm just incredibly sad. (4.83 / 6) (#44)
    by indy in sc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:59:53 PM EST
    I get the verdict.  I understand that "Not Guilty" is not the same as innocent and that the only thing that can be inferred from the verdict until we hear from the jurors is that the State did not meet its burden.  It's the way our system works and I am fundamentally glad that it does work that way because depriving someone of their liberty should not be done lightly.

    That said, what I cannot get over is that an unarmed teen went to a store to get candy and something to drink and because someone he didn't know and who didn't know him found him to appear "suspicious", a chain of events were set off that resulted in the loss of his life.  

    What do we tell our sons, brothers and nephews?  If someone approaches you and doesn't identify himself--don't do anything physically threatening to defend yourself or to scare the person off because that person can shoot you and probably have no legal consequence.  

    Again, I'm not saying the verdict was wrong--I didn't hear/see all the evidence so I do not know and I truly believe the jury did its best, all I'm saying is that I feel the way I knew I would regardless of the verdict that was reached--that there are no winners here.  Zimmerman is legally a free man, but his life will never be the same again either--at least he is alive.

    the chain of events that cause the loss (2.75 / 12) (#51)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:15:33 PM EST
    of his life was when he decided to punch Zimmerman in the face, sit on him and beat him.  

    I'm sorry, (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by indy in sc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:20:10 PM EST
    I know that's where you think this story begins, but it's not and this verdict is not where it ends either.

    What evidence can you offer (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by lousy1 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:35:48 PM EST
    to support your claim? Are you withholding  evidence that was not available to the jury?

    Remember the information gleaned from TM's cell phone was withheld from the jury.


    Just tell them (2.60 / 10) (#48)
    by Char Char Binks on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:14:30 PM EST
    not to assault anyone.

    I would tell my children (5.00 / 4) (#68)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:36:10 PM EST
    When you discover that someone is following you don't waste 4 minutes and then have an alteration.

    You are to come straight home. Immediately. Without fail.

    IF the person asks questions as to who you are and what you are doing you are to tell them and then ask their name and  invite them to follow  you home and have a discussion with me.

    Hope that answers your question.


    Or during that four minute he can (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by lousy1 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:42:16 PM EST
    could phone you or the cops instead of Rachel.

    Running is also an option. Smacking for being in a public place or is not advisable, legal or moral.


    Both sides agreed (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:45:27 PM EST
    that TM spoke first, asking what GZ's problem was. Rachel Jeantel and GZ differ in what his response was. The state could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jeantel's testimony was accurate while GZ's was not.

    Or (none / 0) (#67)
    by chrisvee on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:33:14 PM EST
    Try to defend themselves against a stranger stalking them.

    Then you should (3.40 / 5) (#79)
    by Char Char Binks on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:07:47 PM EST
    be glad that the right to self defense had been upheld in this case.  You might want to get a law dictionary and learn the definition of "stalking".

    Exactly. Come home. Immediately. (none / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:38:02 PM EST
    Tell them they should (none / 0) (#104)
    by lolaatlarge on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:25:12 AM EST
    call the police and report being followed, and get home or to safe, public place immediately. Even if that means hanging up with a friend they're talking to or disrupts their plans. It's so sad to think now how this case might have turned out (or not existed) if that had happened.

    Really? (4.67 / 3) (#90)
    by ATX Lib on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:31:52 PM EST
    You imply that the Democratic party represents progressives and liberals.  Where have you been for the past 5 years?  

    I am a progressive liberal and completely agree with Jeralyn's reporting and opinions on this case.  Anyone who believes in liberty and freedom would respect the jury's decision as well as Jeralyn's right to report on it and voice her opinions.

    You take a time out now. Bye bye.

    I'm going to sign off TL... (3.90 / 10) (#3)
    by magster on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:06:41 PM EST
    as I'm not happy about the result. Just don't see how a kid on his way home from 7-11 with Skittles, Iced Tea and a cell phone can get shot without there being a legal consequence.

    Peace, and thanks Jeralyn for the coverage.

    That he hadSkittles, ice tea, and a cell phone (4.20 / 5) (#45)
    by Char Char Binks on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:08:27 PM EST
    doesn't mean he didn't commit assault.

    Is that (3.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Char Char Binks on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:26:50 PM EST
    a new prosecution theory?

    Haha... (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by Laura G on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:39:19 PM EST
    That made me chuckle.  

    You're ignoring what said kid did... (3.67 / 6) (#14)
    by Robocop on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:21:24 PM EST
    Assault an overzealous neighbor watch volunteer who is trying to call the cops on him? Said volunteer happens to be armed? That is what we call an acute failure of the victim selection process.

    There's national law (none / 0) (#21)
    by Natal on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:24:12 PM EST
    and there's natural law.  National law is human created -- sometimes just and sometimes unjust.

    Natural law is always just and it's precise.  One will reap what one has sown. Not religious dogma but the reality of the cosmos IMHO.


    If you're still calling it Iced Tea... (none / 0) (#152)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:59:00 PM EST
    ...then you are insufficiently acquainted with the facts in the case.

    And you forgot the button.

    And the lighter.


    Keep that up, and you'll buy yourself a libel suit (3.67 / 3) (#39)
    by scribe on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:45:56 PM EST
    He is innocent of any crime.  And since he both was never charged with any flavor of false statement nordid he testify under oath, he did not lie.  And he was never charged - except maybe in your mind - with anything remotely resembling vigilantism.

    So, stuff a sock in it before his lawyers' bills get paid from the proceeds of your property.

    Well, actually no (3.25 / 4) (#52)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:17:15 PM EST
    People can give their opinions without fear of being sued.  It is a national issue and one can comment on facts in the public domain by giving their personal opinion...

    The First Amendment allows one to give an opinion on facts in the public domain.  If someone were trying to suggest they new something outside the public domain, then perhaps.  But NY Times v. Sullivan would make such a case problematic.

    I am not criminal defense lawyer, but I know defamation law.  People have a right to voice their opinions on national issues.    


    not on this site they don't (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:21:14 PM EST
    have the right to spew their hatred and false allegations.  

    We must have been reading different (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:44:16 PM EST
    comments, then, because there has been plenty of both that has been allowed to stand because it was directed at either Martin, at the prosecution or - especially - at anyone who dared to offer anything - no matter how respectful or civil or reasoned - that veered from what developed in comments: that Zimmerman could do no wrong and Martin was bad from the get-go, as if that was the only way to support the defense position.

    I will speak only for myself here, (although I suspect there are others who share my feelings), but I have been looking forward to the end of this trial not least because I am hoping it means that a large contingent of commenters will be heading back to the right-wing sites from whence they came.

    You certainly have done a tremendous amount of work on this case, Jeralyn, and i know you would have done it even if no one had been here to read it; I can't fault you for your dedication to criminal defense issues, but some of the things people have been allowed to say here have just appalled me.


    all personal attacks on (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:23:09 AM EST
    Martin or his family and all name-calling are deleted as soon as I am made aware of them. I have not received any emails from you alerting me to any. If you can find any, please let me know and I'll be glad to delete them. I monitor the comments frequently, but I don't read them all. Especially when I'm writing posts that take three or four hours to complete. I rely on readers to let me know when there's something objectionable. I have gone to great lengths to remove all offending material from this site. You seem to confuse properly expressed opinions on witness credibility with character attacks. This is the third or fourth time you have made this claim, and it has yet to be substantiated. The only thing you  have pointed to is posting a photo of Rachel Jeantel's nails that she tweeted to the world days before her testimony in which she described them as "court nails." That's not a personal attack. Nor is repeating her other tweets in which she mocked and insulted Don West and Robert Z. Junior. These are all valid pieces of information to consider when evaluating her demeanor in court and her testimony. Do you have anything else? If so, email it to me. If not, stop making this accusation.

    interesting (2.00 / 1) (#121)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:11:30 AM EST
    1.  If someone disagrees with you they must be from a right wing site.  Does that include Jeralyn?

    2.  God forbid you should have to be exposed to the opinions of those on the right.  Yuck, that so, so American, having to deal with all kinds of people.

    During the lull in the Zimmerman case, (4.20 / 5) (#142)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:41:42 PM EST
    there were any number of commenters who originally came here for that coverage, who decided to chime in on some of the other, non-Zimmerman threads, and did so using typical right-wing memes, catch-phrases and rhetoric - some even came right out and expressed their conservative orientation.

    So, no, Teresa, it isn't that I automatically deem those who disagree with me to be right-wingers, it's that I read their comments on other issues and take them at their own words.  Too bad you don't subscribe to the same approach, eh?

    And for what it's worth, I'm married to a Republican, and have other family members who are Republicans and I work with a lot of people who are dyed-in-the-wool conservatives, so I think I'm well-acquainted with people who don't always share my views.  Interestingly, none of them ever bellows at me that I'm a race card-playing, sh!t-stirrer whose opinions aren't welcome - that's a tactic more familiar to you, I think.

    Since you're such a model of honest and fair debate, I'll look for your comment taking to task the person who posted a link to a photo of "Acquittals" candy, and asking Jeralyn to take it down.

    But I won't hold my breath waiting.


    In actuality, (none / 0) (#162)
    by Leopold on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:12:38 AM EST
    most of Jeralyn's stated views and philosophies align best with a libertarian foundation, and some others align best with the values of the right-wing. Not all of them - but these are simply the facts.

    It is also underlined by the floods of right-wingers who come during cases like this one, or others in the past.

    That's just the way it is. No judgment here - but being a defense lawyer does not make one a liberal or a progressive. This is TalkDefense, more accurately.

    Now, BTD is another story...


    Clearly subject to your rules (none / 0) (#65)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:27:48 PM EST
    A different forum may be a better place.

    not on this site they don't (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:21:22 PM EST
    have the right to spew their hatred and false allegations.  

    He stated his statements as fact, not opinion (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by scribe on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:47:51 PM EST
    And that's actionable.

    And, FWIW, I am a lawyer and I know defamation law, too.

    I have to wonder what effect the SYG immunity in the civil action will have on potential defamation cases against the people who will continue spewing their hate and slander.  That's an interesting question but for another day.


    The only "fact" (none / 0) (#78)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:58:01 PM EST
    that someone on this board could relay would be derivative of what they have learned by virtue of the press.

    The label does not matter--fact v. opinion.  Unless a person imply they know something that is not in the public domain, they are necessarily giving their opinion.

    Moreover, by deciding to go on Sean Hannity's show and to fight it on the press, which may have been a good idea, but it does mean Zimmerman from a legal stand point has accepted the mantel of a public figure.

    Filing a libel lawsuit in California against someone who is commenting on the Zimmerman case would be met with a SLAPP motion with attorneys fees.  



    If you're really a lawyer... (none / 0) (#153)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 04:06:16 PM EST
    ...you should know better than to conflate SYG (776.012 and 776.013) with immunity (776.032) as they are separate and different parts of Florida's Justifiable Use of Force law, and any immunity to which Zimmerman is entitled has nothing to do with SYG, just as this case had nothing to do with SYG.

    Um... Wrong (none / 0) (#155)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 04:27:35 PM EST
    IANAL but the guy who answered my question about SYG and civil suits is.

    Attach the word Immunity (none / 0) (#163)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 11:20:53 AM EST
    where I wrote Stand Your Ground law, and it is the same.  I assume Stand Your Ground law was commonly accepted as the knick name for the entire statutory framework.....

    Aside from word choice, it does not appear you disagree with my analysis.


    Well, really, (2.00 / 1) (#47)
    by No Blood for Hubris on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:13:00 PM EST
    when you have someone who actually kills another someone and gets off with nary a slap on the wrist, that's kinda special,'specially in the self-spun "pro-life" (sic) South.  Zimmerman killed the Skittles kid. Rly, srsly. Can't wash that away. Ever.

    Killing isn't illegal, (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Char Char Binks on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:21:04 PM EST
    murder is.  Not guilty!

    Waiting for the inevitable (1.00 / 0) (#35)
    by lousy1 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:40:25 PM EST
    Sharpton, Crump Holder presser

    Iwas just wondering (1.00 / 0) (#37)
    by Darby on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:43:46 PM EST
    Where Jackson, crmp and the thrd lawyer whose name escapes me, are?

    The name you will remember (none / 0) (#43)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:55:52 PM EST
    is Daryl Parks.

    Jury Polled (none / 0) (#2)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:02:41 PM EST
    Jurors polled individually.  Nelson admonishing the jury of its right to talk or not with the press.  Wildaboutrial cuts to talking head, Lester Holt.

    Watch cnn (none / 0) (#6)
    by Buckeye on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:13:33 PM EST
    Sunny looks pissed

    Extremely (none / 0) (#8)
    by Darby on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:15:53 PM EST
    She is so biased and has no business as a commentator. She was convinced murder 2 would b h verdict

    yes she was stewing (none / 0) (#25)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:28:50 PM EST
    smoke was coming out of her ears.

    Why were the martins absent? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Darby on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:14:22 PM EST

    They have had such hard weeks (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:23:53 PM EST
    in the public eye, being there for their son, that I am glad that -- if this was their decision and not an effect of the judge's short warning time -- they had private time at this point.

    They will have to deal with the media and public again and again and again in weeks to come.


    Would you have wanted to be there? (5.00 / 0) (#87)
    by Palli on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:25:38 PM EST
    With blind justice in the courtroom- blind for hundreds of years.

    what do you have against blind justice? (none / 0) (#145)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:33:37 PM EST
    Lady Justice, goddess and personification of justice, often portrayed as wearing a blindfold

    that is the blub on WIKipedia about blind justice.  It means justice is blind so that it (she) judges all people equally.


    Of course you can (none / 0) (#32)
    by lousy1 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:35:23 PM EST
    Did you find one?

    Corey (none / 0) (#33)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:36:43 PM EST
    Now the country knows and can make up their own minds about the guilt of GZ

    Tweeted Martin Statement (none / 0) (#40)
    by indy in sc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:46:57 PM EST
    Here is a brief statement by Trayvon Martin's father:

    God blessed Me & Sybrina with Tray and even in his death I know my baby proud of the FIGHT we along with all of you put up for him GOD BLESS

    Classy (none / 0) (#41)
    by star on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:52:35 PM EST
    That is very classy of them.. feel their pain. God bless them .
    It is fascinating to see the system work as it did and excellent job by the defense team. A huge thank you to Jerelyn and talkleft. Could never have understood the legal nuances but for this excellent forum and its very knowledgeable posters.

    The Martin's (none / 0) (#89)
    by lousy1 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:30:57 PM EST
    exhibited class as did the Zimmerman's. I wonder if the jury indicated that they were 5-1 for acquittal when the bailiff brought the note requesting elucidation on Manslaughter to the judge.

    It would explain Taffy's tweet to that effect, as well as the prosecutions evident dismay as a response was drafted.

    It might also have been leaked to the families?


    Does this mean Lee (none / 0) (#55)
    by Char Char Binks on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:20:04 PM EST
    will get his job back?

    Nope (4.75 / 4) (#80)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:08:06 PM EST
    But Corey gave the SPD kudos for an investigation well done.

    There are many casualties.  I think the prosecution was a travesty - would have been a bigger one with a conviction - but it cost Lee and Kruidbos their jobs, wasted a year of lawyer time on both sides, and I'm sure plenty more if you add up all the activity.

    West was right, no winners in this case.  The state managed to create some more losers though.  I don't think the case will be seen as helping even Corey, de la Rionda, Guy, Mantei, Bondi or Governor Scott.  I think in the end, some of them will become casualties too, hoist on their own petard as it were.


    JDM in NYC (none / 0) (#98)
    by Synthesist on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:58:23 PM EST
    JDM, you are under arrest for the crime of profiling.

    You will be overcharged for the crime of murder so that we can try to scare you into copping a plea to a lessor charge before your political show trial begins.

    jdm's comment was deleted (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:03:15 AM EST
    for using profanity. As*holes can only be used with an asterisk. If people don't want to read the commenting rules, they shouldn't bother to comment.

    Hi Jeralyn (none / 0) (#114)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:09:15 AM EST
    Haven't been here in a little while.  But I want to ask you a question.

    I didn't really follow the details of this case.  I tend to agree with you that they overcharged Zimmerman, for reasons unknown, but I ultimately didn't follow the case enough to really know the answer.

    My question to you is, what do you think will happen in the civil suit?  Will it ultimately boil down to jury selection?

    Mark O'Mara (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:30:10 AM EST
    said last night that any civil suit against Zimmerman would be met with a Stand Your Ground hearing under Florida law.

    The judge decides the motion on a preponderance of the evidence standard.  A prevailing Defendant is entitled to attorneys fees.  So, getting to a jury under Florida law may be a difficult and risky proposition.  Very similar to an anti-SLAPP motion under California law. The difference being Florida values gun ownership and California values the First Amendment.


    Thanks for the information (none / 0) (#119)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:46:20 AM EST
    So Zimmerman may not face a civil trial at all?  

    Florida is a strange state.


    No he did not.... (none / 0) (#156)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 05:44:10 PM EST
    ...he said immunity hearing.

    Not the same thing as SYG.

    SYG had nothing to do with this case.

    SYG--776.012 and 776.013


    Separate and different parts of Florida's Justifiable Use of Force law.


    May be true (none / 0) (#158)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 11:07:33 PM EST
    My assumption was that the immunity provisions are part of the Stand Your Ground law.  

    But same difference.


    Does the Not Guilty Verdict Mean (none / 0) (#115)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:15:50 AM EST
    That TM was guilty of assault officially?  I have been trying to wrap my head around the confused logic of the law- the person dead is presumed guilty so the person who "defended" him or herself is presumed innocent.  

    Not really (none / 0) (#120)
    by Darby on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:59:35 AM EST
    But apparently the jury had some amount of belief that z was in fear for his lsafety and his only option was o defend himself.  

    INNOCENCE! (none / 0) (#122)
    by Tamta on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:16:41 AM EST

    Nope. No such verdict exists. (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Towanda on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:47:51 AM EST
    This is a law blog.  "Not guilty" = not just words.

    Apparently in Ohio, (none / 0) (#138)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 11:23:53 AM EST
    Zimmerman would have had to prove his self defense case by a preponderance of evidence.  However, without knowing more, that differing standard doesn't tell us enough.  Would the "He got out of the car so could have prevented everything" argument have more legal force in Ohio in establishing he committed a crime?

    And, apparently, in New York (none / 0) (#140)
    by shoephone on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:37:36 PM EST
    anyone shooting someone with a gun -- "unplanned" -- carries an automatic charge of manslaughter.

    Not if it is Self-Defense (none / 0) (#146)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:44:57 PM EST
    In NY self-defense is justifiable homicide, just like in FL.

    Remember Bernie Goetz? His gun was not even legal.


    Yo Zimmerman Believers (none / 0) (#151)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:43:29 PM EST
    I assume you believe OJ is innocent and his version of events stands because he was not convicted.

    If there is a civil case and Zimmerman loses I assume that you will disregard that and continue to believe zimmean's version of the story?

    Or can we just acknowledge that this verdict could be the correct one and reasonable people could still believe Zimmerman was completely in the wrong.

    I think the verdict... (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 05:34:14 AM EST
    is the correct one, the system worked this time.

    Like I always say...legal/illegal, guity/not guilty, and right/wrong are all totally different questions, and it's far too rare that they all shall meet.

    It's a bummer to me that there isn't a consensus in our society that George Zimmerman did something very very wrong, though he was found not guilty of breaking the law.  Reducing the body count of the plague of gun violence depends on it.

    Leave your guns at home y'all...fistfights are regrettable, but need not be the more regrettable and deadly gunfights.  Misunderstandings are gonna happen, adding guns to the mix just worsens the scene.

    I wish George luck in finding redemption and change for the better in his life...I hope that's part of his god's plan.



    OR (none / 0) (#161)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:51:37 AM EST
    We could say that the verdict was the correct and reasonable people could still believe that Zimmerman was partially wrong, yet Trayvon Martin's actions also contributed to his death.