George Zimmerman Trial: State May Rest Today

The state may rest today.

The judge seems to be in rush to conclude the trial. It's beyond strange that the parties haven't even concluded discovery and the state is resting. Depositions are still being taken at night. Today the judge told the defense it has tomorrow, the 4th of July, to prepare.

If this is all the state has, I don't see a case. I'm looking forward to hearing the judge's explanation for denying the defense motion for judgment of acquittal when the state rests.

< George Zimmerman Trial: Walking Back the Damage | Wednesday Open Thread >
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    Was this trial at all representative (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by casualobserver on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 02:53:00 PM EST
    of criminal jurisprudence in the State of Florida?

    If it was, I certainly pray I am never involved in any of its proceedings. What a poor use of my Florida property tax dollars to hire the prosecuters involved and other residents' votes to elect this particular judge to the bench. The original Sanford PD and prosecutors seem well vindicated by this abysmal demonstration. I used to like Rick Scott, but with him pushing this matter into trial via Angela Corey, there will be no more votes or campaign contributions for either Scott or Biondi from this state resident.

    this trial, imo (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by bocajeff on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 11:10:20 PM EST
    was the result of politics gone mad. Trayvon looks like the son President Obama never had. The Miami Heat dressing in hoodies. Marches, demands, etc...

    Racism is real and disgusting, but this case is not the right case to shed light on the abomination of the great sin. It only seeks to pour gasoline on a burning fire.


    Eye of the beholder, I guess (3.67 / 3) (#53)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:27:36 PM EST
    IMO, racism is woven all through this tragic event in ways large and small, and this is also true of the reactions to it - including many of the comments on this blog.

    It shines a million candlepower spot light (3.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:19:59 AM EST

    "Racism is real and disgusting, but this case is not the right case to shed light on the abomination..."

    That "white Hispanic" is on trial in no small part because because of the racist narrative that had him looking to put a black notch on his pistol.  That racist narrative was aided and abetted by so called news orginazations large and small.  



    Bocajeff, I wish I could fan & fave you. (none / 0) (#67)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:49:59 AM EST
    That is exactly what has happened in this case. Personally, I believe the State chose to over charge Zimmerman with murder specifically because they were willing to take a loss in order to avoid being perpetually blamed for him "getting away" with racist murder. The "Justice for Trayvon" movement was on the verge of creating race riots. Better to pretend and to have tried to convict him and let the blame fall on the jury or the lack of evidence rather than go down in history as being part of a racist cover up.

    The fact is, racism is real and has played out in many ways in this case. I hope we can eventually understand all the components of racism we've just seen here. White guilt has perpetuated anti-black racism for too long. We can't move past our prejudices until we understand that all sides are biased.


    Bombast (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Cylinder on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 04:04:22 PM EST
    Now we know the cause of all the pre-trial bombast and shell games.

    Thanks, Jerilyn. As a fellow atty ... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Beldar on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:40:29 PM EST
    But one who lacks your experience in criminal law, I've very much appreciated your posts about this trial.

    I finally watched the "reenactment" (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:47:39 PM EST
    video. Assuming the following facts are true:  (1) defendant was on his back on the ground and Martin was straddling defendant, (2) defendant held Martin's hand with defendant's hand, (3) defendant retrieved his gun from his right side, defendant fired his gun intonMartin's chest.

    Is this physically possible, given the position of the entrance wound?  I am skeptical.

    The "reenactment" (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Candid on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:01:34 PM EST
    George said that (a) he was on his back; (b) Trayvon was straddling him;  (c) Trayvon had both his hands across George's nose and mouth; (d) he felt Trayvon's hand going across his chest towards the gun; (e) he held Trayvon's hand; (f) he retrieved the gun and (g) he shot Trayvon.  
    This raises several observations and questions: (1)  If Trayvon's hands were across George's mouth and nose, How could George scream? (2) If Trayvon was moving his hand across George's chest to get the gun, he would have done so very, very quickly and George would not have had time to hold Trayvon's hand; (3) Trayvon's chest would have been relatively close to George's chest; (4) Considering the length of George's hand from elbow to fist plus the length of the gun, it is more than likely that it was just about the same distance as the distance between Trayvon's and George's chest; that being so, the  nozzle of the gun would have been right into Trayvon's chest; but the examiners have testified that from their observation and experience, the gun was not in contact with Trayvon's chest.
    Putting all this together, it is quite logical to assume that the gun was not pressed into Trayvon's chest because Trayvon had raised up from George before he was shot, and that when he saw the gun he yelled, "help"! Therefore, George did not have to shoot him, he could have ordered Trayvon to be still until the police got there, and Trayvon would have had no other choice because he did not have a gun.
    Further, George said in his 'reenactment' that Trayvon first spoke to him saying, "Do you have a problem?" to which he replied, "I do not have a problem," and Trayvon said,"You do now," and immediately struck him in his face causing him to fall back and Trayvon jumped on him in a straddling position.
     Now, it would seem that George is the one who had a problem because he had already complained that "these a** holes always get away" which certainly suggests that he intended to make sure that 'this' a** hole did not get away.  He had also stated that there were several break-ins in his neighborhood, so he had a problem on seeing an unknown person in the area. Now, this is my further observation:   Witnesses claimed that they heard/saw movements for a while before the gunshot and that the persons were both in an upright position and moving. Now if that were so, then it is untrue when George said that immediately after Trayvon struck him, he fell on his back.
    Also, remember that Trayvon's girlfriend said that she heard a different voice say, "What are you doing here?" and shortly after that she heard a sound as if the phone fell and she lost contact with Trayvon on the phone. This would indicate that something happened that caused Trayon to drop his phone. Could it be that George pushed Trayvon and that is what started the tussle? Note that Trayvon is dead and there is no one else to refute George's statements. George also said that as he fell, the gun was exposed and Trayvon saw it. If so, why didn't Trayvon take the gun away from George at that point? I do not believe that Trayvon was at all aware that George had a gun before he was shot.   I do believe, however, that they were both fighting before falling to the ground, and that George's claim of 'self defense' is unjustified.

    Another point that seems very unlikely, Trayvon had almost reached his father's home, Why would he, walking alone on a rainy night and knowing that he was unarmed, go in pursuit of an unknown person who he suspected was following him, not knowing if he was armed? It is obvious that something does not ring true with George's comments that Trayvon turned back and circled his car. It makes more sense that Trayvon was trying to reach his father's home but could not, because he was stopped by George who was obviously pursuing him. Remember that Trayvon left home just to get skittles and a drink to go back quickly to play with his friend.


    And yet, there he was ... (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by MJW on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:08:04 AM EST
    Another point that seems very unlikely, Trayvon had almost reached his father's home, Why would he, walking alone on a rainy night and knowing that he was unarmed, go in pursuit of an unknown person who he suspected was following him, not knowing if he was armed?

    Unlikely though you may consider it, several minutes after Zimmerman saw Martin heading quickly in the direction of Brandy's house, Martin was back about where he started, near the "T." He had plenty of time to walk -- much less run -- the short distance home.


    Trayon's parents told Matt Gutman(sp) (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Teresa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:50:32 AM EST
    of ABC that Trayvon was 6'2" which looking at the 5'10 7-11 clerk makes more sense. I don't think, though, that height necessarily means strength is greater. Just an oddity to me.

    (I googled this and didn't see the interview, so I'm just assuming they actually said this. I'm going to look for the video later, though, I've decided there's no way to recreate 16 months of information in my mind)

    -After seeing this Dr, I feel for the prosecution being stuck with this guy. No wonder his reputation isn't so hot. Even the prosecutor couldn't suppress his grin and shake of his head when the ME wouldn't answer West's yes or no question. He did the same to the prosecutor.

    It's just utterly ridiculous (4.00 / 4) (#23)
    by Jack203 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:49:22 PM EST
    The state's entire case is to play with emotions and throw complete and utter horsesh&t against the wall and hope something sticks.

    The next state witness sill be someone who saw George watch a Dateline mystery episode.

    Or maybe they'll introduce George's netflix queue into evidence if he had a cop show on it.

    Looking at GZ's Netflix rentals hasn't been legal (none / 0) (#60)
    by gadfly on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:57:25 PM EST
    since the Washington City Paper published Robert Bork's Blockbuster movie rentals.

    I look forward to it as well, but she will most (none / 0) (#1)
    by Cashmere on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 01:45:12 PM EST
    certainly deny the judgment of acquittal.  This judge seems to be very angry with the defense.  It is night and day how she raises her voice to the defense (and rules), but I have never seen this done to the prosecution.  The judge is especially hostile towards Don West, but even so with O'Mara at times.  Is this normal?  I would have no idea.  

    To me it is interesting that this is always captured watching online, mostly when the jury is not present.  Once the jury is in, her tone and demeanor become so sweet as she reads them her questions/rules.  

    Again, I have never watched or been present at a trial so I am not sure if this is par for the course.

    Did I hear correctly that the defense still has not deposed Crump?  Can Crump refuse to be available the entire time the defense is presenting their case?

    It is my understanding (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 01:47:05 PM EST
    That Crump might be deposed Sunday night, which the defense objected to, but I don't know if that time and day was set as final.

    West continued to argue (none / 0) (#4)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 01:57:16 PM EST
    with the Judge after she said she had made her ruling....West kept at it....and the Judge was not happy about it.

    But I would agree the Judge favors the Prosecution.

    As to depositions during trial, from the commentary it appears that depositions in criminal matters is allowed in Florida but that is unusual....

    In civil cases, it is not uncommon to have mash-ups with depositions being taken during trial.


    No one wants to incur the wrath (none / 0) (#68)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:58:04 AM EST
    of the "Justice for Trayvon" movement. If the judge is seen to be lenient or favoring the defense, the historical narrative will be that the white racist got away with murdering an innocent black child armed only with Skittles in his pocket. But if the evidence indicates that Martin went back to beat up the guy he thought was profiling him, the racial animosity will be subdued somewhat.

    Neither the judge nor the State authorities want to be blamed in the end for not allowing the charge of murder to be proven in a court of law.


    If the state rests today (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 01:53:38 PM EST
    MOM will be giving a press conference.

    Any idea why he would do this (especially if [and probably when]) the judge denies his motion for acquitall?  Crim defense lawyers, help please!

    Not a crim defense lawyer (none / 0) (#5)
    by cboldt on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 02:26:51 PM EST
    But I suspect the press conference would be sterile.  O'Mara will report that George is doing okay, the defense is not surprised that the state had so little evidence, the defense is confident the judge and jury will do the right thing, the defense is ready to begin presentation of its case on Friday morning.

    Take questions.  West daughter tweet issue will come up, downplay it.

    It's not unusual for his remarks to the press to be at odds with arguments to the court.  Two different audiences.  There is no reason the statements have to agree.  For example, to the court, "not ready," to the press "ready."

    In sum, I don't think it will contain any news.  It's just a feel good session for O'Mara and the press.


    jb, I think he's been giving them (none / 0) (#8)
    by Teresa on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 03:02:59 PM EST
    every few days. I've seen them on youtube, though I didn't watch them. He's been on Anderson Cooper three times that I've seen.

    Thx (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 03:08:11 PM EST
    Are they going to rest without calling (none / 0) (#7)
    by Teresa on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 03:01:34 PM EST
    the medical examiner? It's going to be hard to fit him in and Trayvon's mom, too, if this DNA stuff ever finishes. I know Mrs. Fulton won't be on long, but I'd think the ME would be. Surely they aren't skipping him?

    The judge said (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 03:08:01 PM EST
    She'll stay there as long as it takes to finish the state's case, so it will probably longer than say a 5 pm finish.

    Looks like (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 04:26:21 PM EST
    The defense was able to run out the clock on cross-examination of the forensic tech.  Court adjourned for the day - state did not finish its case.  Probably to keep Sybrina Fulton off the stand and have that be the last thing the jury heard as it heads out for the holiday.

    It was only 5:20 (none / 0) (#14)
    by Teresa on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:54:24 PM EST
    Since the "experts" all say they won't question Trayvon's mom on anything but the scream, and there's not much the defense can ask about it, wonder why they didn't call her? The judge said she'd stay as late as she had to, and the other night they stayed until 6.

    I think they should have called her, and I think the defense shouldn't question her at all unless she slips up and says something about Trayvon's character. I think the prosecution will be very very careful about what they ask her. Even if she slips on character, etc, I'd still not question her about it if I were O'Mara or West.


    Just buying time till Friday (none / 0) (#22)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:07:05 PM EST
    That is what West was arguing for anyway.

    The Prosecution would then end on Friday with Sybrina Fulton's testimony for the weekend consideration of the jury.  Not much difference between ending today or Friday from a Prosecution perspective.

    The Defense apparently had a real issue with starting their case today....


    Uh, no (none / 0) (#27)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:15:53 AM EST
    If the defense is really stalling, it would have to do with ongoing discovery that, due to the state's unethical sandbagging is still ongoing and scheduled for the next off days. Defense would like to complete this before starting their case in chief.

    I didn't judge the Defense (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:26:22 AM EST
    or attempt to throw stones.  It is hard to choreograph witnesses to all be ready on time....especially when you do not know when the other side will rest....

    Discovery issues can intrude, although I was not aware you could even take a pre-trial deposition in a criminal case.  I guess you can in Florida.

    I said the Defense had issues with starting on Wednesday, and West frankly said as much....

    In terms of your assertions of the State "sandbagging," I heard enough of West's arguments in that vein to know the Judge disagreed.  She ruled against that theory....

    Playing for time can sometimes be necessary....And the Defense may have had to do that....for whatever reason.....I do not fault them for that.

    No need to be so defensive about the Defense...


    Skypacolypse!!!! (none / 0) (#13)
    by Cylinder on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:47:39 PM EST
    Mantei's still working out the privacy settings.

    I still think it's very odd not to call the (none / 0) (#15)
    by Teresa on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:55:59 PM EST
    ME. I know he made some mistakes (at least I've read that), but if I were on the jury, that's one thing I'd notice for sure.

    They called A medical examiner (none / 0) (#18)
    by chezmadame on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:31:12 PM EST
    who the TV pundits keep calling THE medical examiner. This type of inaccuracy doesn't help.

    What I'm confused about is why TM's mother has been allowed in the courtroom if she's a potential witness. Isn't this the reason why GZ's parents are not in the courtroom?


    The judge said it's because Trayvon (none / 0) (#20)
    by Teresa on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:14:34 PM EST
    is a minor and they are allowed in the courtroom, even if they're testifying. I don't know if that's true of all, or many, states, but it is in Florida.

    As parents, they are the "victims" (none / 0) (#28)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:19:20 AM EST
    And therefore are presumptively not subject to the witness exclusion rule.

    What's the process? (none / 0) (#16)
    by labrat on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:12:15 PM EST
    If the state rests on Friday and the defense motions for a dismissal? Do they just stand up and ask for one? File a written motion? Would the judge be likely to take it under consideration over the weekend and announce a determination on Monday? Would she just deny as is her normal response to defense motions and make them start their case?

    If you were GZ's attorney would you put on a case or rest saying the prosecution already established our defense?

    If I wanted to put my faith in Judge Nelson as opposed to a jury, I would have gone the route of requesting an SYG hearing at the very beginning. Now that I have chosen a jury and prepared my defense for the jury, I would simply stay with the plan.

    No, you always... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:21:49 AM EST
    ... ask for a directed verdict of acquittal. Always. Even when it is perfunctory, just to preserve it for the record. Here there is actually a compelling case for DV, even though Nelson looks very unlikely to ever grant it.

    Were You Surprised (none / 0) (#37)
    by RickyJim on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:38:11 AM EST
    that Nelson backed the defense position in the Frye hearing?  It was a no brainer so she had to. I think a DV after such a prosecution case is also a no brainer.  At least the Murder2 should be thrown out.

    No, it was.... (none / 0) (#38)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:55:04 AM EST
    ...exactly the correct decision and, after all the hammering of junk science in criminal trials, would have been fairly obvious reversible error if Nelson had allowed it. There was no way they could establish it as generally accepted practice.

    Yes, I think the case deserves a DV at the end of the state's case (at least so far). But there is no chance Nelson will grant it; she would take too much flak and it is too easy to just pass it on to the jury.


    Someone on another forum presented a case law that said no.  I wish I could find it but it is buried in a long thread somewhere, and I don't remember who posted it.

    Anyway, a directed verdict was refused by the judge and the jury went on to convict of a lesser charge than the original 2nd degree murder.  The appeals court said the prosecution had not proved all of the elements of its case in the trial, and the judge should have given a directed verdict of not guilty.  Had that been the case, the defendant would have never faced the charge for which he was convicted.  So, his conviction was thrown out.

    Does that make sense?


    Yes (none / 0) (#46)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:37:12 AM EST
    If there is a DV of the only count (here 2nd degree) at the end of the state's case, nothing should go to the jury.

    I think you answered your own question (none / 0) (#47)
    by cboldt on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:39:00 AM EST
    Nelson could deny a motion for judgment of acquittal, the jury can be charged with either murder 2 and manslaughter, or manslaughter alone, the jury could convict, Zimmerman could appeal, and the appellate court could find that the motion for judgment of acquittal should have been granted.

    The reason the case you recall turned out the way it did was that the prosecutor had not overcome the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard, probably on disproof of self defense, and should have taken the case away from jury.


    Does a jury have to follow those instructions? (none / 0) (#48)
    by ZucchiTadre on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:38:08 AM EST
    Can't they just ignore the judge and issue an acquittal?

    Basis for jury verdict (none / 0) (#50)
    by cboldt on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:46:21 AM EST
    The judge doesn't tell the jury to find guilt, the judge give instructions that define the crimes, and tell the jury to apply the evidence adduced at trial to the elements of the crimes.

    Neither an acquittal nor a conviction are ignoring the judge or the instructions.  But if the evidence doesn't support a finding of guilt, the jury's decision (finding guilt) can be reversed on appeal.


    Big Defense Win? (none / 0) (#19)
    by friendofinnocence on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:43:41 PM EST
    Apparently, the prosecution benefits so much in this case from the jury not knowing the self-defense laws that all of the pundits are calling the JAG's explanation of the self-defense laws to the courtroom today a big win for the defense.

    That is pretty sad.

    Martin dad (none / 0) (#21)
    by Darby on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:21:39 PM EST
    I am assuming his testimony that the cries were NOT trayvons will be brought out by the defense.  I think john good testimony as an eyewitness who saw George screaming, the audio of the terrified screams for help coupled with Tracy Martin admitting to the police it was not his sons voice prooves self defense.

    Don't think John Good (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by ExcitableBoy on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:02:36 PM EST
    SAW George screaming. He heard the yells for help coming directly at him and felt they were from the one on the bottom (GZ based on the clothes), since that was the person basically facing him, while the one on the top was facing away from him.

    Is there any indication the prosecution will call (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 11:27:09 PM EST
    an expert to opine as to whether it would have been physically possible for Zimmerman to inflict Martin's gunshot wound to the chest (as described in the autopsy report) assuming Zimmerman's description of the positions of decedent and himself and the gun were correct?

    Nope (none / 0) (#26)
    by friendofinnocence on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:12:48 AM EST
    Sybrina is the only other witness scheduled.  No ME, no other expert.  

    Where is this schedule of which you speak? (none / 0) (#30)
    by MJW on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:10:15 AM EST
    I bet they call the ME.

    they may be saving him for rebuttal (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:07:48 AM EST
    after the defense firearms expert/pathologist testifies.

    Cause of death (none / 0) (#33)
    by MJW on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:48:34 AM EST
    I can't see how the state has yet officially established the cause of TM's death. Of course I know it's obvious he died from the gunshot wound, but I've never heard of a murder case where a medical examiner or similar official didn't testify to the decedent's cause of death.

    Echoing cause of death (none / 0) (#34)
    by cboldt on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 04:23:49 AM EST
    As MJW points out, there is no testimony yet that Martin died from the gunshot wound.  The pathologist that the defense has lined up did not assign a cause of death for Martin.

    I saw Crump on CNN last night (none / 0) (#40)
    by chezmadame on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:06:57 AM EST
    and he said that Trayvon's brother would also be testifying. Crump noted that the brothers look very much alike.

    Crump? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Raoul on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:28:31 AM EST
    I think that was Daryl Parks last night.

    I could be mistaken (none / 0) (#49)
    by chezmadame on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:39:33 AM EST
    I was listening, but not watching. He was identified as Crump later on the show.

    I just heard an anchor ask a pundit "Who packs a gun to go to Walmart"
    The pundit answered, "I think they pack their own guns."


    Not Walmart -- it was Target (none / 0) (#51)
    by MJW on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:52:13 PM EST
    And anyone knows targets and guns go together.

    I (none / 0) (#56)
    by Pugfrench on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 04:06:47 PM EST
    Don't think they look alike at all. And why would it matter if they did?

    If the jury sees a younger (none / 0) (#69)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:10:01 AM EST
    kid who looks like Trayvon it helps the prosecution because the jury might think Trayvon was unlikely to initiate the physical confrontation. If Trayvon had an older, more aggressive looking brother, calling him might make the jury think Zimmerman's version of events claiming Martin attacked him is more plausible.

    It's all about perceptions and jury manipulation.


    intermediate range (none / 0) (#42)
    by IrishGerard on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:45:26 AM EST
    I wouldn't be surprised if the Prosecution doesn't call the ACTUAL medical examiner since his autopsy contradicts their assertion that the handgun's muzzle was pushed into Martins chest.

    They are cherry-picking evidence and it's going to backfire on them (no pun)

     Dr.Vincent DiMaio, the expert that jeralyn alludes to, will testify to the Michael Knox analysis that the hoodie 'sag' puts Martin on top of Zimmerman, unequivocally.


    probably not (none / 0) (#64)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:40:27 AM EST
    that "question" does not seem to be an area of dispute . . . assuming GZ lying on his back on the ground and firing the weapon partly upwards and partly away from his head, perhaps, I haven't heard of any challenge to the possibility of creating the deadly wound.  Also, we can suppose that TM could be anywhere from nearly parallel on top of GZ to nearly "straight up," while straddling him.

    it seems to me as if there are indications that GZ may have exaggerated or erred or spoken falsely about such things as TM grabbing hold of the gun . . . in a holster normally worn above the right buttock . . . but I don't see a normal jury convicting of 2nd degree murder or manslaughter based on 2 to 5 similar discrepancies about such things.  You could wipe out all of GZ's testimony and believe John Good  or maybe believe John Good . . . and that is enough to exonerate him of either charge.


    Very curious thing to watch today (none / 0) (#31)
    by ZucchiTadre on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:19:10 AM EST
    When the judge overruled the state's objection to the teacher discussing laws of self defense you could see it turning in a bad way (or good way if you're for the defense).  And then the irony of watching the african-american witness for the state basically justify Zimmerman's self defense just made me SMH, literally.

    Was that just a tiny bit surreal or what?

    This case (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by morphic on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:55:53 AM EST
    has to be one of the most incompetently prosecuted I've ever seen. What could they have been thinking? All emotion and no common sense. The deaf expert who hears things no one else can was ridiculous. But than the whole prosecution case was.

    The Prosecution Problem (none / 0) (#44)
    by RickyJim on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:10:48 AM EST
    I wouldn't blame the people in court who are doing the prosecution.  I don't think they could be doing that better a job.  Of course the decision that they be there was made higher up.  In the adversary system, prosecutors are supposed to be partisan and they take no oath to only prosecute cases they really believe in.

    Their biggest hope was to get Zimmerman on the stand and hope that he disintegrates under bombardment of his false statements.  Lay juries can be counted on to overweight such a spectacle.  But how could they accomplish that?  If they didn't introduce his statements in their case, they might be stuck with the defense not putting him on and they have no falsehoods to point out in their closing statement.  By putting his statements in and ensuring they have contradictions and improbabilities to point out, they guaranteed they wouldn't have the opportunity to make him look like a guilty liar on the stand.  


    'hey george' (none / 0) (#43)
    by IrishGerard on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:04:10 AM EST
     JAG Captain slash professor was asked to identify his former student slash defendant.

    Ya... that comment had me laughing. (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by ZucchiTadre on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:04:41 PM EST
    The glass half-full types might say the JAG officer and the federal marshal were character witnesses for George.

    They effectively were... (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:01:02 PM EST
    ...character witnesses for Zimmerman.

    Then they were questionable witnesses (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Towanda on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 06:27:16 PM EST
    on his character, at least the course instructor who testified that he had talked about SYG, about which Zimmerman denies having had any knowledge.

    So, Zimmerman is a liar, says a "character witness."


    Correct Me if I am Wrong (3.00 / 2) (#58)
    by RickyJim on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 06:51:49 PM EST
    But I don't think either Mantei or West asked Captn. Carter if SYG was explicitly mentionioned by name in the class.

    Capt. Carter (none / 0) (#63)
    by Mr Mark Martinson on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:50:47 AM EST
    West asked him, and he conceded, that SYG was a "nickname" and not the actual name of the statute.

    I don't believe he asked him how often the phrase "SYG" might have been used.

    I think it is a stretch to conclude that GZ lied.  If I took a course on the French Revolution in 2010 it's likely that I would have forgotten that I was taught about Danton, or whatever.


    I think that SYG is such an (none / 0) (#71)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:16:07 AM EST
    interesting concept that once you learn about it, you don't just forget it. I think Zimmerman lied about knowing about. But I also think he's falsely accused of murder. So if I was on the jury, I'd understand and forgive him for lying.

    possible, we somewhat agree (none / 0) (#142)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:53:53 PM EST
    I think that the self-defense is what happened and is a valid defense.  I also think GZ lied or misled about some things, but they don't change the self-defense validity.

    if we note the areas of allegedly discrepancy or problems in the GZ testimony, we find that there are several problems, and not just one, all in the area of why he was wandering about . . . and how long.

    Why he was wandering about . . . to check on an address, to find out a street name, to follow TM, to not be following TM, etc . . .  there was 2:42 between the end of the NEN call and the beginning of the next call.  There were about 2 minutes or more before the fight/confrontation became loud enough for others to repond by calling 911 or going outside.

    Did GZ not remember the SYG provisions?  I don't know if he intentionally lied about that, cause I know how easy it is to forget some things or to remember wrongly when you learned of them, but I do think he is lying about the missing 2 minutes.


    Many people would lie. (none / 0) (#144)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:16:04 PM EST
    Even if it was self defense, I would still expect a defendant to lie or twist the truth about the events. Most people try to present themselves and their history and/or decisions in the best light possible. He's on trial for murder, after all.

    Exactly, Mr. Martinson (none / 0) (#74)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:20:47 AM EST
    as the point is that many students do not recall a lot of course material after a course, unless given reason to continue to review it in later courses, on the job, etc., which do not appear to apply here.

    You're wrong, RickyJim (none / 0) (#75)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:22:47 AM EST
    as I saw (and you can see other comments on this and/or google for) Carter's testimony, and he was specifically asked that.

    (I did not see West's testimony.)


    Bollocks (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:08:02 PM EST
    Why? You think that was (none / 0) (#73)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:19:01 AM EST
    a "character witness"?  You certainly can think so.  I simply am stating that, if that is what was intended, I don't think that it worked as well as it may seem on a first take.

    Why is my opinion "bollocks"?  Please explicate, as to deride a commenter's opinion without reason is odd.  


    Because it was crystal clear... (none / 0) (#116)
    by bmaz on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:13:38 AM EST
    ...that the Captain was extremely friendly with, and respectful of, Zimmerman and considered him to be a great student. The man was a professor and is now a JAG Corps officer. That is very powerful framing.

    Certainly, an impressive guy. (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:19:18 AM EST
    and that's good for Zimmerman.

    But that's not the point that I addressed.  A lot of impressive guys are not experienced teachers.

    The point -- to try to make this more clear -- is that he was testifying as a former teacher, and that testimony was not impressive to me, nor to another teacher here who also understands how it works.  Now, I think that the impressive guy's testimony could have been made stronger, had he been asked questions that the lawyers did not ask.  

    It's all too common for people who have been students to think that they understand teaching.


    Was Zimmerman (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:29:09 AM EST
    in class that day?  Did he actually hear that part?  Was he paying attention?

    I've taken lots of course - through undergrad, graduate school, and law school. I attended probably 95% of all those classes and had lots of professors and instructors say lots of things.  It's not out of the realm of possibility that they may have said things, that I heard those things, and that I and even comprehended those things, but if you asked me, "Did your professor ever discuss X?" I could honestly say, "No."


    He got an A (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:43:12 AM EST
    He didn't just blow it off.  

    He got an A - so what? (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:35:42 AM EST
    I aced lots of tests.  But that doesn't mean I could tell you for sure I heard a professor talk about something in class, or even if it was on the syllabus.

    5-minute university (none / 0) (#167)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:04:29 PM EST
    Don't any of you remember the 5-minute university? Watch till the end for the special relevance.

    He may not have done so (none / 0) (#70)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:15:33 AM EST
    but we would need to know the grade skew to know if the course was a blow-off.

    As teachers here have said (none / 0) (#72)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:16:25 AM EST
    . . . and is attested by every test in every course ever offered: What you said.

    If Zimmerma is found guilty (none / 0) (#77)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:43:03 AM EST
    It will be interesting to spend some time looking back at these comments.

    Lots of certainty and dismissive thoughts and comments based on predisposition.

    We will see.

    Testimony: straight shot (none / 0) (#79)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:54:22 AM EST
    no angle on the shot.    

    And TM could not have moved (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:07:21 AM EST
    including moving his hands under his body, after the gunshot, according to the ME -- although TM may have lived as much as ten minutes after the shot.  And the abrasions on the hands could have occurred hours before he died.  All not good for the defense.

    And the abrasions could have (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:10:27 AM EST
    occurred after he was shot....

    Two abrasions (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:26:37 AM EST
    on Trayvon's left hand and he was right handed.

    In my opinion:  That does not sound like he was pummeling Zimmerman;  If that were the case, Trayvon's hands would have been beat up pretty good; and to have hit Trayvon that many times without breaking a bone in his hand seems unlikely--in my opinion.



    they didn't bag his hands (none / 0) (#154)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:38:01 AM EST
    they washed the body, they comingled the fingernail scrapings and didn't take fingernail clippings. They also didn't take photos of his palms. There's no way to know what his hands really looked like at the time. If they were clutched under his heart for any period of time, why wouldn't there be blood on his hands?

    There are also problems with the way they stored the clothes -- instead of a paper bag to keep them dry for testing, they used plastic, leaving the clothes wet with an odd smell.


    This qualifies bad for the defense? (none / 0) (#86)
    by Jack203 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:22:27 AM EST
    " And the abrasions on the hands could have occurred hours before he died."

    If the testimony was "within hours" that certainly sounds pretty damaging..

    Or else quite a coincidence.


    Sure, if the only abrasions on his (none / 0) (#91)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:36:12 AM EST
    hands occured before the confrontation with Zimmerman, that would mean he had no injuries to his hands based on his repeated punching of Zimmerman....

    Repeated Punching? (none / 0) (#92)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:37:51 AM EST
    I thought he was slamming Zimmerman's head against the concrete, not repeated punching.  Did I miss something here?

    John Good (none / 0) (#96)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:44:40 AM EST
    testified that he saw "arm movements going downward."  Sounds like punching to me.

    From an LA Times blurb (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:59:54 AM EST

    At one point, Serino tells Zimmerman that his statements of being hit 25 to 30 times were "not quite consistent" with the level of his injuries from the confrontation with Martin.

    Being hit 25-30 times sounds like, in my opinion, he is saying he was being punched many times....

    Of course, assuming you believe Zimmerman....



    Maybe (none / 0) (#106)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:04:56 AM EST
    But if you are in the middle of a fight, are you counting punches?  And arms may flail and hit you, but not leave marks (goodness knows, my sisters and I used to scrap around and get some good ones in - on the arms and such - and we had no marks).

    Not sure what you mean by "good ones" (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:09:13 AM EST
    but if you punch someone seriously it hurts and injures your hands....

    Not talking about horsing around....

    Zimmerman didn't couch his being punched as just horsing around.


    Believe Zimmerman? (none / 0) (#111)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:10:25 AM EST
    I do not believe, or have any stake in Zimmerman's claim to truth.

    My comments are reflective of what I believe has been presented in the case, and evidence brought up so far.


    Not you personally (none / 0) (#118)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:14:43 AM EST
    I suppose I should have phrased it: If "one" believes Zimmerman, or assuming Zimmerman is telling the truth.

    A more complete quote (none / 0) (#101)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:51:17 AM EST


    Cause it looked like there were strikes being thrown, or punches being thrown, but as I clarified, due to the lighting, it could have also been, you know, holding down. But there were arm movement[s] going downward....

    And Zimmerman (none / 0) (#102)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:53:58 AM EST
    And this:

    Zimmerman said during his first police interview the night of the shooting. "He just started punching me in the face, and I started screaming for help. I couldn't see. I couldn't breathe."

    OK (none / 0) (#108)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:06:47 AM EST
    Is the defense or prosecution arguing this point?

    I have not followed the transcripts of the ongoing case, or tuned into the live feed.

    I thought the injury that supported the defense claim that Zimmerman was in mortal fear, was the damage to the back of his head.

    How did he get that?


    Well, the first ME who testified (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:33:42 AM EST
    said that the injuries to Zimmerman's face could have been from one punch and the injuries to the back of his head were superficial.

    Zimmerman has said in his interview that after he was first punched by Martin, he was either knocked or pushed to the ground.

    Thus, in my opinion, all of Zimmerman's injuries could have been caused by the first punch.


    she also said his injuries could (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 03:15:31 AM EST
    be the result of having his head hit concrete multiple times.  O'Mara got her to say his head could have been hit four times on the left side  and four times on the right side. (Video here, 1:23:00 in) four times on each one.)

    Please listen to the cross-examinations of the witnesses, not just the direct by the prosecutor.


    Yes (none / 0) (#104)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:01:43 AM EST
    But given Good's description, what he saw: arms going up and down, the evidence does not support GZ getting repeatedly punched in the face. The evidence of GZ's head getting hit on the concrete corresponds to the up and down arm movements.

    Really MKS, why would you argue that TM couldn't have been bashing GZ repeatedly in the face? I do not believe that anyone on the defense or prosecution has alleged this scenario.


    Martin's footwear was still on his feet, so that proves that TM did not repeatedly bash GZ with his shoes too..


    Zimmerman said he was punched (none / 0) (#123)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:21:16 AM EST
    25-30 times...

    I suppose one could interpret (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:25:51 AM EST
    Zimmerman's comments that he was being hit 20-25 times that he was being punched in his chest or arms?  Does not sound reasonable in my opinion.

    Really.. (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by jondee on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:22:15 PM EST
    Twenty to twenty five times? AND had his head slammed on the concrete? This guy makes Randall "Tex" Cobb look like he had a glass jaw..
    That Zimmerman can sure take a lickin' and keep on tickin'..

    All that kind of testimony makes me think is: about what else is Zimmerman exercising poetic license?


    OK (none / 0) (#129)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:38:41 AM EST
    So, from the Good statement, what do you think TM was doing if he was not hitting GZ, or slamming his head against the concrete?

    Or do you think that John Good imagined or saw something that did not happen.


    Well (none / 0) (#139)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:09:40 PM EST
    I don't want to give the impression that we were a violent family, but my sisters and I did get into "slapping"/  light punching fusses occasionally.  Never real fights.

    But once, after chasing my 6 year old sister for some unknown reason that she made me mad (I was 12), she ran into the house and locked the back storm door.  I knocked pretty hard on the glass pane (because she locked me out and I was ticked) and put my hand right through it.  Not even the slightest scratch on me.

    So, I guess anything is possible in a situation where there could be injuries.


    "Not even the slightest scratch." (none / 0) (#148)
    by melamineinNY on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:24:06 PM EST
    I can attest to the same experience at about the same age: fist through window, not a scratch. If the same situation was claimed by or attributed to a defendant or victim, would the "common sense" consensus be that it's not possible?  

    Zimmerman probably exaggerated (1.00 / 1) (#145)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:27:24 PM EST
    the number of times he was punched. Or the fear and adrenalin from being beaten by someone pinning him to the ground affected his memory.

    So what?

    If I was in the position Zimmerman described, I would have shot the attacker long before 45 seconds had elapsed.


    "So what"? (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Yman on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:59:32 PM EST
    The "what" is the credibility of Zimmerman's story.  You can interpret other evidence to support the argument that Martin was on top of Zimmerman (Good's statement) and (arguably) that Martin hit Zimmerman in the face.  But in determining whether Zimmerman's use of force was justified, Zimmerman's statement is the most critical (and often the only) evidence to support the idea that he was under imminent threat of death/serious bodily harm - being punched in the face a "couple dozen times", "You're gonna die tonight", suffocation, head being smashed repeatedly against the concrete, reaching for the gun, etc.

    If, as you state, you think Zimmerman was exaggerating and even lying in his statements to police, why would you believe the most critical parts of his statements - those where the alleged threat to his life is most clear?

    The credibility of a defendant in case where he is alleging his actions were justified by a need for deadly force is absolutely critical.

    BTW - I responded to your post on the other thread where you stated your advice for Martin/your relatives with mirroring advice for Zimmerman.  My post - despite being within the blog's comment rules - was deleted.


    I don't believe everything Zimmerman says. (1.00 / 1) (#149)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:10:59 PM EST
    But no one should have to take a beating with the risk of head injury or death. You don't have to man up and take your licking, or fight it out and settle your differences. If you think you are at risk of serious injury, that law allows you to kill your attacker. That's the whole point of SYG and self defense law.

    I understand that if Zimmerman initiated the physical confrontation, he can't then kill the guy he's fighting with and then claim self defense. But I truly believe that Martin came back looking for a fight. His history tells me that, his own words and actions, and especially and his location back near where it all started.

    If Zimmerman didn't make the interaction physical, Martin is culpable.


    Of course not (3.00 / 2) (#150)
    by Yman on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:56:36 PM EST
    I don't believe everything Zimmerman says.  But no one should have to take a beating with the risk of head injury or death.

    The problem here is that the narrative suggesting Zimmerman was at such risk is based largely (almost entirely) on Zimmerman's word.  Claims of being punched in the face "a couple dozen" times, having his head repeatedly smashed against the concrete, Martin reaching for the gun, smothering him, "You're gonna die tonight" - all depend on Zimmerman's self-serving narrative.

    But I truly believe that Martin came back looking for a fight. His history tells me that, his own words and actions, and especially and his location back near where it all started.

    I have no doubt that you believe it, based on a lot of information and personal biases that are not evidence.  In reality, though, there is no evidence that Martin ever left the "T" area and returned.  The closest statement is W8, who said he was "right by" his father's house, which he was when he was at the "T".

    If Zimmerman didn't make the interaction physical, Martin is culpable.

    That's simply false.  "Making a confrontation physical" does not justify the use of deadly force.


    punching someone and (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:28:10 AM EST
    breaking their nose, hitting their head multiple times against concrete and straddling them so they can't get up, all of which is in evidence through Zimmerman's statements and others, does qualify as justifiable use of deadly force. He doesn't have to wait until a near fatal punch or head-slam to act. His professor also testified to the jury that this is the law.

    Gee, Yman, would you please let us know (1.00 / 2) (#163)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:20:10 AM EST
    your real name? I'm curious if you're really an attorney as you claim. If so, you should understand that if Zimmerman initiated a physical altercation, he cannot use self defense once he starts to lose the fight. However, if the altercation was verbal and Martin changed it to a physical fight, or if Martin snuck up on Zimmerman and jumped him, then George, like any other person under attack and in fear for their life, has the legal right to shoot and kill their attacker.

    You're misstating the law - AGAIN (3.00 / 2) (#165)
    by Yman on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:41:41 AM EST
    I am an attorney.  I couldn't care less whether you believe that or not, but it doesn't even require an attorney to know that you're misstating the law.

    If so, you should understand that if Zimmerman initiated a physical altercation, he cannot use self defense once he starts to lose the fight.

    Wrong.  What you're talking about is the issue of "initial provocation".  there is no requirement that such provocation be physical force, although physical force can be provocation.  More importantly, even if party A provokes initiates a fight, they are are not barred from claiming self defense if they have exhausted every reasonable means of escape or if the aggressor withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force.  Finally, if party A provokes an attack with minor physical force (grabbing, hitting) and party B escalates the confrontation by using deadly/serious bodily harm force, party A may use self defense.

    However, if the altercation was verbal and Martin changed it to a physical fight, or if Martin snuck up on Zimmerman and jumped him, then George, like any other person under attack and in fear for their life, has the legal right to shoot and kill their attacker.

    Wrong again.  Merely "jumping" someone or initiating a fight doesn't justify shooting and killing an attacker - even if Zimmerman feared for his life.  The fear must be objectively reasonable in order to justify deadly force, and that's a crucial issue in this case.


    Objectively Reasonable (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:51:12 AM EST
    Just to clarify...the fear, in this case GZ's, does not have to be a real provable thing that would have certainly caused death. The fear need only be something GZ thought was going to result in his death. A fear that other reasonable people would also believe as mortal.  

    Not wrong at all. (1.00 / 1) (#168)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:42:16 PM EST
    But you are so argumentative that as soon as someone states something on this blog that doesn't support what YOU want to have happened between these two men, you verbally attack them. Which is why it's really not worth my time to interact with you.

    Thank you for the clarifications (none / 0) (#171)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:04:49 AM EST
    I try not to spend time GZing, at the end of the day that often just leads to more shrugging when talking about any of this with anyone.

    Zimmerman's word alone (none / 0) (#153)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:34:00 AM EST
    is enough to get the case to the jury in Florida. But you conveniently overlook John Good. Because you have closed ears, you won't listent to him, but the jury will. No state witness has disproved GZ's account beyond a reasonable doubt. And you haven't even heard the defense witnesses yet.

    The gunshot/firearms expert is one of the leading experts in the country. He is also a pathologist. He will tesstify the forensics back Zimmerman's account.

    The state has the burden to disprove Zimmerman. He has no burden once he has produced some evidence, "no matter how flimsey" of self-defense.


    Mine aren't the only closed ears (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by Yman on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:25:12 AM EST
    I'm not overlooking John Good.  In fact, I think Good is one of the few, credible pieces of evidence that back Zimmerman's account - to a degree.  Good didn't see Martin smashing Zimmerman's head on the concrete - or even punching him.  His recollection has changed from "raining blows MMA style" to "I didn't really see any hitting" (paraphrasing) to up-and-down arm movements with Martin on top of Zimmerman.  But the points you raise have nothing to do with my responses to MOTR's points.  I was pointing out that MOTR presupposes that TM left the "T" area and returned looking for a fight, based largely on MOTR's experience with "angry young men".  It fits his preconceived narrative.  Moreover, he also misstated the law when he said that "If Zimmerman didn't make the interaction physical, Martin is culpable."  Martin isn't "culpable" because he's not on trial and he's dead.  More importantly, Zimmerman's culpability will be determined based on whether his use of deadly force was legally justified, not simply based on who the jury believes started the physical confrontation.  Most importantly, MOTR stated he thought Zimmerman was exaggerating parts of his story and even lying - and that as a criminal defendant he would expect him to lie and he thought the jury would forgive him for this.  My broader point was that many of the most crucial parts of Zimmerman's story are supported solely by his testimony or (IMO) weakly by other evidence.  If MOTR believes he's exaggerating and even lying about his narrative, why would he believe these crucial parts which are clearly self-serving (reaching for the gun, smothering, punched in the face a "couple dozen times", head repeatedly smashed against the concrete, "You're gonna die tonight", etc.)?

    As for your other points, I have no idea what the firearms expert will testify to, as he hasn't yet testified.  I know who has the burden to prove their case, but that also wasn't my point.  Frankly, based on the evidence so far, I fully expect Zimmerman to be acquitted on the M2, and possibly on the lesser-included offenses, precisely because of that burden.

    I appreciate your passion as a criminal defense attorney.  I don't know many defense attorneys who have kept that level of passion for very long, let alone the way you have done for the length of your career - and such passion is really necessary for the system to work.  It's also your blog, so you're obviously free to enforce the comment rules as you see fit.  But I'm not the only one with "closed ears".


    as Serino the police investigator (none / 0) (#161)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:54:07 AM EST
    testified, it's entirely reasonable that it would seem to GZ as if his head was being bashed 20 to 30 times. Review Mark O'Mara's cross examination of him on this point. Serino testified that he didn't think the exaggerations were significant inconsistencies in his statements. That's what the jury will be reminded of in closing, and it's in evidence. Singleton also testified she didn't think the inconsistencies were significant or meant his overall account wasn't truthful.

    Do you think the jury didn't hear, even though they can't consider, Serino's other statement that was stricken, that he believed GZ was telling the truth?

    Almost all of your comments misstate or twist  some piece of evidence or some principle of law. That's why they get deleted. It's not your point of view, but your misstatements that result in your comments being deleted.


    Just not believing this (5.00 / 2) (#172)
    by ZtoA on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:34:22 AM EST
    First, I don't think Z is guilty of M2 - without evidence of the drugs he was on (legal - for mental conditions). But "bashing" or "smashing" his head ?? Z had two small cuts on the back of his head, no concussion and no bruising. I understand some people are scared that there MIGHT be injury beyond a couple of minor cuts but it is honestly debatable if that fear is 'reasonable'.

    ME said something about two hours (none / 0) (#94)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:44:11 AM EST
    as a possibility for abrasions on hands to have occurred, prior to the confrontation.

    I only relate the testimony, and I'm not the one on the stand.


    He could have clutched at his chest (none / 0) (#90)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:34:58 AM EST
    thus explaining the hands.

    Not according to ME (none / 0) (#93)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:40:07 AM EST
    who said he would have been unable to move after he was shot.

    The ME (none / 0) (#95)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:44:14 AM EST
    Also doesn't remember doing the autopsy in this high profile case, and didn't show up to the scene for almost 3 hours.

    He testified he performed autopsies (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:46:52 AM EST
    in more than 100 homicides....

    It is not uncommon for experts to remember nothing beyong their reports.  


    Too bad he wasn't in class (none / 0) (#114)
    by me only on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:11:40 AM EST
    5 years ago when an instructor mentioned a law.  No way he would ever forget that.  Not possible.

    I mean this was just an autopsy in possible murder case.


    The pathologist who does the autopsy (none / 0) (#100)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:50:02 AM EST
    doesn't even go to the scene in my experience.  

    The ME just testified (none / 0) (#105)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:02:01 AM EST
    that he SHOULD have been there.

    And he just gave his notes (which he said he NEVER does) to the defense counsel so they could read them.


    After resisting doing so. (none / 0) (#109)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:07:04 AM EST
    Why would the ME resist that?  

    He started as very solid but has become nervous, interrupting -- to the point that the judge has had to intervene on that, a couple of times -- and does not now seem experienced on the stand, as he did before.  Perhaps MEs are not usually cross-examined to such an extent.


    So which is it: (none / 0) (#107)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:06:02 AM EST
    Do you accept the ME's testimony, or not?

    Or, do you think he is qualified to opine Trayvon lived one-ten minutes, but not qualified to say he would have been unable to move?


    I think the ME (none / 0) (#115)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:12:22 AM EST
    Is very experienced, but it sounds like there was some sloppy forensic work done in this case.

    The ME also just said (none / 0) (#134)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:37:35 PM EST
    he changed his mind about three weeks ago, after doing another autopsy, about how long he estimates Martin lived after he was shot.

    Originally said in depo - 1-2 (or 3) minutes.  Now says 1-10 minutes.


    Wow, (none / 0) (#135)
    by bmaz on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:20:38 PM EST
    Off at court and did not see that. Doing another autopsy - on another body and he suddenly changes his opinion on Martin from over a year ago?? Bizarre.

    AANNNNND... (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:37:17 PM EST
    now the ME just said Martin MAY have been able to move a little...

    Oh, this is a disaster


    Whoa, yes (none / 0) (#137)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:42:39 PM EST
    and he is becoming more belligerent by the moment.

    The ME answers -- read: evades -- questions very oddly, and I do not think it is owing to the difficulty with his spoken English. He does not listen well, I think.  Heck, he has to keep being told by the judge to listen at all, to the end of a question.


    And he said (none / 0) (#138)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:45:47 PM EST
    The wound was not a contact wound, but more consistent with "loose contact" w/clothes than "pressing."

    Totally undermines what the prosecutor said in opening statements.

    And also apparently he consulted a book by forensic pathologist Vincent Di Maio. Di Maio is expected to testify for the defense later.


    Holy crap! (none / 0) (#141)
    by bmaz on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:28:36 PM EST
    I wish I was by a TeeVee!

    yes, that was great that he (none / 0) (#158)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:45:02 AM EST
    said one of the books on his shelf that he uses to consult is di Maio's.

    he didn't even do that autopsy (none / 0) (#159)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:46:14 AM EST
    he said he just witnessed it!

    the ME changed his tune (none / 0) (#155)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:39:03 AM EST
    on movement and whether he could speak. His last statements were he didn't know.

    Finally. (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:00:14 AM EST
    ME (none / 0) (#81)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:05:16 AM EST
    Will not give an opinion on Martin's position in relation to Zimmerman, nor how far apart they were.

    the defense expert will testify (none / 0) (#157)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:43:48 AM EST
    to the opposite and that it is consistent with Martin on top of Zimmerman at an angle which is why his shirts separated from his skin. The bullet hole, stippling and fibers support his theory. He's also a pathologist.

    The placement of the hands (none / 0) (#89)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:34:18 AM EST
    Makes perfect sense if you just listened to the ME.  While he will not commit as to the position each was in, he speculated that Martin lived 1-10 minutes after he was shot and was probably "suffering" (his words - he obviously doesn't really know).

    It would be natural if you are in extreme pain to clutch at your chest - where you were shot.

    You must not have listened to the ME (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Towanda on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:46:35 AM EST
    say that Martin could not move after the shot (in his medical opinion, based on experience, etc.).

    did you not hear him (none / 0) (#156)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:40:50 AM EST
    later change that testimony to it's possible he could move/talk after being shot, but he doesn't know if he did or for how long?

    Yes, see my later comment upthread (none / 0) (#169)
    by Towanda on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:03:10 AM EST
    when the ME changed his mind.

    I didn't think to come back and change my comment to match his change of mind.  Heck, half of the comments here would have to be thrown out to keep up with his testimony from minute to minute.


    ME is terrible witness (none / 0) (#112)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:11:29 AM EST
    He had his deposition taken, so the Prosecution should have known the ME would tend to argue on cross....There was time to correct this problem.....

    Have you ever been stuck w/an (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:14:09 AM EST
    an expert who does not appreciate and/or consider the input of others?  I have.

    yep (none / 0) (#120)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:15:38 AM EST
    I don't think it goes to the substance of his testimony....

    And there was only (none / 0) (#121)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:17:42 AM EST
    one ME who performed the autopsy....So, the Prosecution was stuck with him.  

    So, then what's the significance? (none / 0) (#119)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:15:02 AM EST
    That, after the police arrived, Zimmerman re-arranged Martin's hands underneath him?  

    There was no exit wound (which apparently would have been more helpful in determining who was on top), so Martin was not shot in the back.

    Real question here.

    Are all of defendant's prior statements (none / 0) (#125)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:23:30 AM EST
    consistent?   Is the observation of the first responding law enforcement officer the same as all of defendant's descriptions  re the positions of defendant and Martin post-shooting?

    Zimmerman was up and talking to his (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Teresa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:56:06 AM EST
    neighbor with the flashlight when the police got there less than a minute later.

    Where he said he put TM's hands isn't consistent with where the police found his hands. I don't have confidence that this ME can answer whether or not TM could move. The other ME was let go of a position for all kinds of things and is the hired gun of this particular group of state's attorneys.

    We'll see one, I think, from the defense side. That's why I was hoping the independent ME, who did the autopsy would have a lick of sense, but it seems he doesn't.


    I deleted that comment (none / 0) (#160)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:47:03 AM EST
    It misstated what Zimmerman said in the re-enactment.

    I was wondering that (none / 0) (#170)
    by Towanda on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:05:18 AM EST
    and wonder if it was an attempt to undermine Zimmerman's truthfulness?  If so, the ME did not get an A.