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George Zimmerman Trial: State Rests, Court Denies Motion to Aquit

The state has finished its case. The defense argued its Motion for Judgment of Acquittal. The state responded. The judge denied the motion, saying only that the state had provided sufficient evidence for the charge to go to the jury. See, for example, the 2012 Florida Supreme Court opinion in Patrick v. State.

The defense argues that because the state's evidence as to ill will, hatred, or spite is entirely circumstantial, the state's evidence must disprove any reasonable hypothesis of innocence.

If, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, a rational trier of fact could find the existence of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, sufficient evidence exists to sustain a conviction.

However, if the State's evidence is wholly circumstantial, not only must there be sufficient evidence establishing each element of the offense, but the evidence must also exclude the defendant's reasonable hypothesis of innocence.

[More...]

"Direct evidence is that to which the witness testifies of his own knowledge as to the facts at issue. Circumstantial evidence is proof of certain facts and circumstances from which the trier of fact may infer that the ultimate facts in dispute existed or did not exist."

O'Mara argues if the court rejects this argument, it should grant the motion for judgment of acquittal simply because there is no evidence to support that Zimmerman acted out of ill-will, hatred or spite.

O'Mara cites Emmanuel Burgess, the serial burglar at RATL, and mentions that Judge Nelson is familiar with him because she sentenced him to 5 years.

O'Mara correctly argues that in the overwhelming number of cases, the parties knew each other for a period of time and the enmity had time to build up.

Florida courts have held that an impulsive overreaction to an attack or injury is itself insufficient to prove ill will, hatred, spite, or evil intent. See, e.g., Light v. State, 841 So. 2d 623, 626 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003); McDaniel v. State, 620 So. 2d 1308 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993).

"Although exceptions exist, the crime of second-degree murder is normally committed by a person who knows the victim and has had time to develop a level of enmity toward the victim." Light, 841 So. 2d at 626. McDaniel v. State, 620 So. 2d 1308 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993); Williams v. State, 674 So. 2d 177, 178 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996).

From one of my earlier posts on the legal issues in this case:

Stinson v. State( 1971):

When the deceased swung at him, appellant was under no compulsion to wait around and see whether the second blow might find its mark as promised by the aggressor.

...In the circumstances reflected in this record, there was no evidence from which the jury could infer that the appellant acted in a manner evincing a depraved mind as defined by our Supreme Court in Ramsey v. State, 114 Fla. 766, 154 So. 855, when he instinctively neutralized his attacker with the only appropriate means at hand. That the attacker sustained a mortal wound is a matter that should have been considered by the deceased before he committed himself to the task he undertook.

Dorsey v. State(2011)

The crime of second degree murder is defined as the "unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual." § 782.04, Fla. Stat. (2006).

An act is imminently dangerous to another and evinces a "depraved mind" if it is an act or series of acts that: (1) a person of ordinary judgment would know is reasonably certain to kill or do serious bodily injury to another; (2) is done from ill will, hatred, spite or an evil intent; and (3) is of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life. Wiley v. State, 60 So. 3d 588, 591 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011); Fla. Std. Jury Instr. (Crim.) 7.4.

Florida courts have held that an impulsive overreaction to an attack or injury is itself insufficient to prove ill will, hatred, spite, or evil intent. See, e.g., Light v. State, 841 So. 2d 623, 626 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003); McDaniel v. State, 620 So. 2d 1308 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993).

"Although exceptions exist, the crime of second-degree murder is normally committed by a person who knows the victim and has had time to develop a level of enmity toward the victim." Light, 841 So. 2d at 626. Moreover, "[h]atred, spite, evil intent, or ill will usually require more than an instant to develop." Id.

The state begins its argument and immediately twists the facts and law. As but one example, the state cites the Leasure case, which I referred to the other day. The state cites the inconsistencies in the defendant's statements, as comparable to this case. Really?

Leasure told the 9-1-1 operator three different stories, including that she shot Tilley to protect herself, that she shot him accidentally, and that he shot himself.

The state is also incorrect in stating Zimmerman's statement to Hannity about his lack of knowledge of stand your ground is direct, rather than circumstantial evidence of ill-will, hatred, or spite. That's an inference the state wants the jury to make. It's the state's theory, not direct evidence.

The state also erroneously claims the issue is which of the two individuals were acting in self-defense. In order for Martin to have been justified in attacking Zimmerman, he had to have reasonably believed he was in imminent danger of the use of physical force by Zimmerman. The state presented zero evidence that Zimmerman was about to use force on Martin.

Other sleights of hand: The state's attorney refers to Zimmerman's going to Target and adds "If he was really going to Target." I don't recall a single piece of evidence or testimony the state produced to question that Zimmerman was going to Target.

O'Mara argues again, pointing out how different the facts are in the Leasure case. The Leasure case, by the way, also states:

In cases involving circumstantial evidence as to the element of intent, such as this one, the evidence must not only be sufficient to support a finding of guilt; it must also be inconsistent with any other reasonable hypothesis of innocence.

I believe the motion should be granted, but I think the court will say there is conflicting testimony and conflicts in the evidence must be decided by the jury.

Additional earlier posts on the legal issues:

< Zimmerman: Medical Examiner Changes Opinions | Defense Opens With George Zimmerman's Mother >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Sorry, probably off topic, but . . . (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by ceili221 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:42:44 PM EST
    I have an intellectual crush on you, Jeralyn.

    smiles (none / 0) (#12)
    by chaking on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:52:24 PM EST
    lol - I was going to say something similar the other day.  But shh - she's going to scold us for being off topic and the posts will be deleted

    Parent
    :) thanks! (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:22:29 PM EST
    Interesting that when (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:09:48 PM EST
    Sybrina Fulton heard the voice on a video of Martin's phone, in which the person is using a speaking voice, her attorney Benjamin Crump said she couldn't be sure it was Trayvon's voice, but she's sure the scream is.

    It's Interesting, But Is It Admissible? (none / 0) (#17)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:17:12 PM EST
    how come? (none / 0) (#19)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:21:46 PM EST
    How come the defense did not use this to impeach her, then?

    Parent
    Also (none / 0) (#20)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:27:33 PM EST
    Since there are a bunch of people who claim to be able to identify Trayvon martin's voice, why not ask them in depositions to identify whether or the voice from the phone clip is Trayvon?

    Parent
    The judge obviously never really considered (3.67 / 3) (#2)
    by gadfly on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:28:20 PM EST
    MOM's well-stated arguments. She said she considered the arguments from both lawyers, but that is impossible without recessing long enough to read and research the oral arguments and the cites. She took about 10 seconds to spew her decision.  

    no cajones (1.00 / 2) (#22)
    by cassandra1313 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:31:56 PM EST
    This judge would never dismiss the case whatever the case law said.

    Parent
    You don't think (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:30:38 PM EST
    She knows the case law?  Or what the arguments were going to be?  This isn't the first time she's heard this motion.

    This is a standard motion made at the end of every prosecution case and it is RARELY granted.

    Parent

    That is true (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by bmaz on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:32:38 PM EST
    And I am actually willing to give Nelson the benefit of the doubt in knowing the relevant cases. I think the motion should have been granted, but never for a second believed it would be.

    Parent
    Exactly, Bmazz (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:23:03 PM EST
    that's my take too.

    Parent
    So what? (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by cboldt on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:33:53 PM EST
    The number of people who are equipped to criticize her decision is few, and the press will claim that the judge ruled against Zimmerman.  So far, so good.

    The other edge of the sword is that the defense puts on its case.  Zimmerman has been claimed to have said (by O'Mara) that he wants to be cleared by a jury, and he wants to tell his side of the case.  On with the show.

    Parent

    I know (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:37:35 PM EST
    I didn't expect her to grant the JOA, besides the fact that it is almost never done, but because looking at the facts in the most favorable light to the State - we still have a dead boy on our hands.

    I don't think the public would tolerate or understand if she dismissed it at this stage, even if it was legally sound.

    Parent

    Following the law is passe (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by cboldt on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:40:36 PM EST
    I didn't expect her to follow the law either.  The mob of public pressure is in control of the law, these days, except when the judges deny it.

    Parent
    It's really the mob of media presure. (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by redwolf on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:12:21 PM EST
    It was the media making up lies and continuing to repeat them that even made this a criminal case.  The general public didn't really care until we had months of anti Zimmerman propaganda.

    Parent
    It's not a close call. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Luke Lea on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:52:12 PM EST
    But then neither was the O.J. Simpson case.  Hence the suspense.  

    Prosecution change anyone's mind? (none / 0) (#9)
    by redwolf on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:13:17 PM EST
    Anyone watching the trial change their mind about Zimmerman's guilt/innocence based on the prosecutions case?  

    those polled on cnn/hln (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:54:26 PM EST
    the cnn website of headline news on the trial has some basic polls on some basic questions in the trial.  

    The 3 basic questions are:
    was GZ playing cop that night?
    who was the aggressor?
    did the ME help the prosecution case?

    For these questions, people who vote are voting 3 to 1 in favor of the defense version of events . . . and it is about 4 to 1 to the effect that the ME did not help the prosecution.

    The discussion now on HLN is to the effect that the ME testimony was an implosion, a disaster and either a terrible way (or a fitting) way for the prosecution to end its case.

    They have just played again the ME saying his testimony can change every hour and I don't see a problem . . .

    Parent

    Are these online (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:32:47 PM EST
    non-scientific polls?  People who choose to vote is not a random sample and thus is not a valid poll.

    Parent
    Nope... Only that I am more convinced (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Cashmere on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:55:35 PM EST
    than ever that the State has no case.  

    Parent
    hmmmmnnnnn (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:34:16 PM EST
    the inconsistencies bother me, but not enough to change my opinion that GZ did what he felt he had to do.  I expect this will only become clearer with the defense case this week.

    Parent
    The prosecution doesn't care about.... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by unitron on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:20:55 AM EST
    ...the mechanics of the case, only what they consider to be the motive.

    "We don't have any actual evidence to show how both parties wound up in the same place at the same time, but the defendent had ill will, therefore he must have done "something" to bring the two of them into close enough proximity to allow him to murder the deceased".

    Since my original interest was in "can we take stuff like the phone recordings and figure out from that what happened", they haven't done a thing to exploit or alternatively explain any questions or doubts I've got about Zimmerman's accounts of what happened.

    I'm just supposed to take a couple of epithets which appeared aimed at a set of people and extrapolate them into "the mean old mans killed the innocent little boy just for being black", without caring how he got close enough to do so.

    So they haven't changed any of my thinking because they haven't tried.

    Parent

    fulton testimony (none / 0) (#10)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:20:21 PM EST
    In her testimony, Sabrina says that she was the first to say it was Trayvon, but I thought from other sources that it was Tracy martin who first said it was was TM.

    Is she mistaken or lying or did I misunderstand things?

    I believe (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:21:31 PM EST
    Tracy Martin said at first that it WASN'T Trayvon.

    He did not testify in the state's case.

    Parent

    Does anyone think the defense will call Tracy (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cashmere on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:58:14 PM EST
    Martin?  I know, I should probably ask this in the defense case string Jeralyn has just started.

    Parent
    I would at least... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by bmaz on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:35:42 PM EST
    ...think about it. Tough call; if so, that is about the only question I would ask him.

    Parent
    It Seems to Me (none / 0) (#18)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:57:45 PM EST
    that the judge's task at this point should have been to answer the same question the jury will answer later after the defense presents its evidence, "Is it reasonable that George Zimmerman's killing Trayvon Martin was justified?".  Instead, this afternoon, I listened to a mush-mosh of arguments, sometimes relating to Murder2 and sometimes to self defense without any clear definition of the judge's task.  I suppose that one way to handle arguments you can't follow is to punt.  I wonder what would have happened had she been forced to put her decision in writing and give reasons for it.

    you aren't stating the test corrrectly (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:20:24 PM EST
    Ricky, that's not the law and you know it. The jury must decide whether the state has disproved self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, not whether GZ's defense is reasonable.

    The judge has to view the evidence presented in a light most favorable to the state and decide if a rational trier of fact could find the existence of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

    An element of second degree murder is that the person acted with a depraved mind, which means with ill will, hatred, spite, or evil intent.

    The twist in this case is that second degree murder requires proof of intent. Much, if not all, of the intent evidence is circumstantial.

    In Florida, on a motion for judgment of acquittal, the state's burden is higher if all of its evidence  is circumstantial. If all the evidence is circumstantial, the state's evidence must exclude  every reasonable hypothesis of innocence.

    "In circumstantial evidence cases, 'a judgment of acquittal is appropriate if the State fails to present evidence from which the jury can exclude every reasonable hypothesis except that of guilt.'

    It's made more complicated because the 5th DCA where the trial is taking place thinks the different standard shouldn't apply in circumstantial evidence cases. It says that intent is almost always proved by circumstantial evidence and the courts have abolished the distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence as proof to convict. See the Knight case from 2013. The case also takes the view, citing numerous other cases, that the heightened standard shouldn't apply unless the state's proof on all the elements is solely circumstantial.

    Where the evidence is conflicting (as opposed to missing entirely) and a determination must be made as to credibility of witnesses, the case goes to the jury since the judge is not supposed to weigh credibility when deciding an MJA.

    Parent

    FYI: it doesn't matter where trial court is (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:24:43 PM EST
    I know Florida lawyers who make this mistake as well. It is well settled Florida law that absent a decisional conflict among the DCAs all trial courts are bound by case law from the  DCAs. A trial court cannot ignore a 4th DCA opinion because the trial court is  in the 5th. See Pardo v State

    This Court has stated that "[t]he decisions of the district courts of appeal represent the law of Florida unless and until they are overruled by this Court." Stanfill v. State, 384 So.2d 141, 143 (Fla. 1980). Thus, in the absence of interdistrict conflict, district court decisions bind all Florida trial courts. Weiman v. McHaffie, 470 So.2d 682, 684 (Fla. 1985).


    Parent
    In this case, it matters (none / 0) (#36)
    by MJW on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:29:44 PM EST
    It is well settled Florida law that absent a decisional conflict among the DCAs all trial courts are bound by case law from the  DCAs.

    What you say about binding precedent in Florida is correct, but on this issue there is a district conflict.

    Knight v. State, 107 So. 3d 449 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013):

    Although Knight's argument finds support in opinions from other districts applying a "special" circumstantial evidence standard,[1] we disagree with the way that standard has been used in those cases on similar facts.


    Parent
    Sincerely, I don't know it. (none / 0) (#31)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:19:30 AM EST
    Ricky, that's not the law and you know it. The jury must decide whether the state has disproved self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, not whether GZ's defense is reasonable.

    I always translate phrases like "Beyond a reasonable doubt, Zimmerman's killing of Martin was not justifiable homicide" to "It is unreasonable that Zimmerman's killing of Martin was justified".  I find reasonablity a difficult enough concept; why use the harder one of reasonable doubt?  Please explain why my translation method doesn't come up with an equivalent proposition.
    The judge has to view the evidence presented in a light most favorable to the state and decide if a rational trier of fact could find the existence of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

    I asked yesterday on the forum, during JOA arguments, what the above means and got no answer.  Viewing evidence in a light most favorable to the state sounds something like regard all evidence favoring the prosecution as established fact and all evidence favoring the defense as false.  For example, regard the photos of Zimmerman's injuries as Photoshop fakes.  If the concept has a precise meaning, I would appreciate knowing it.

    I also find the difference between direct and circumstantial evidence as legal obscurantism.  It seems to mean that direct evidence is something perceived immediately by the trier of facts' senses while circumstantial evidence means something derived from sensory input by reasoning.  Why bother to make the distinction at all?  The only thing that should count is degree of believability.

    Parent

    For all of the wrangling about the toxicology (none / 0) (#27)
    by ZucchiTadre on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:06:18 AM EST
    I'm floored at his explanation regarding how many photos he took of the body. He mentioned "five to ten" were taken, generally.  Are there so many corpses flowing through the his office that he can barely keep up with them?  I can understand in cases of natural death but I would think a homocide would trigger a more thorough documentation of the body.

    And that they didn't X-ray the hands seems a bit odd... do they have an X-ray machine in that office?

    Everything about his testimony has me puzzled.

    Not certain (none / 0) (#28)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:52:51 AM EST
    about Florida but when my cousin died of complications from a surgery years prior, they were not going to do an autopsy.  My uncle (her Dad) paid for it.

    Parent
    X-ray? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Raoul on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:31:01 AM EST
    I thought the issue was the ME did not photograph the palms of TM.  Why would they x-ray?

    Parent
    Look for fractures in the hands. (none / 0) (#30)
    by ZucchiTadre on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 07:00:57 AM EST
    I'm sure there are other reasons to do X-rays.

    Parent
    Jeralyn, you said in the Open (none / 0) (#34)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:05:41 PM EST
    Thread, one more week. O'Mara said, I think, they'd be through Wed or Thurs. I wonder about the jury.

    I've posted I don't think the state proved its case, but they still have the opportunity to make points in the defense's case, as the defense did in theirs.

    If I were on the jury, even at this point in my thinking, I'd take a long long time to go over exhibits, etc, to be sure of my verdict. I have no doubt that their decision will be questioned either way.

    They always answer yes to staying late, etc, so I'd say they'll deliberate all weekend if they don't decide by Friday (assuming they've had time after the defense's case).

    Did I miss something in testimony? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 03:35:20 PM EST
    I was reading old posts by Jeralyn and links by posters in one thread led me to other links, etc.

    Where were the ear bud found? I thought one of the evidence people testified in TM's pocket. That made me question Rachel's testimony about him having them on and GZ must have hit him and knocked them off (paraphrase).

    A post linked another report that they were found in the grass beside him. I would think their location is important, but no one that I remember testified differently.

    So do we know where they were and I just don't remember testimony correctly?

    There is a photo (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:47:04 AM EST
    of the deceased and it shows the ear buds on the ground beside his head.  From the appearance it looked TO ME like they had been threaded through/under the hoodie.

    The report said that the ear buds and photo pin were in his pockets.

    IIRC, testimony about the pin was that it was attached to both the hoodie and the sweatshirt underneath.

    I will never figure out why that button wasn't tested.

    Parent

    If they were in his pocket, why the (none / 0) (#44)
    by Teresa on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:04:00 PM EST
    picture of them on the grass? If they were really on the grass, that could support Rachel, right? At least to the point that he was using them with her (so he could still be on the phone without actually holding the phone, whether or not there was a "bump" that knocked them off). And the prosecution didn't say a thing to the testimony they were in his pocket.

    Maybe the jury won't notice that conflict, but I did. Maybe they fell out of his pocket when he was shot? Maybe they fell out of his pocket when he was turned over for CPR? Or maybe they were in his ears like Rachel said and fell out during the fight. Or if they were threaded through, maybe they fell out when his shirts were moved to see the wound and cover it with the bag. I want to know if we know.

    Do we know how they ended up in the grass in the picture but were listed as contents of his pocket?

    Parent

    I don't know the answer to the question, but.. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Cashmere on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:57:14 PM EST
    if Martin had the headphones threaded underneath the hoodie to his ears, they may have been in his ears when the confrontation started, and fallen out subsequently, or he may have pulled them out on his own, prior to the confrontation, as they would just hang from his shirt until he was ready to use them again.  I doubt we will ever know.

    Parent
    Probably right. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Teresa on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:12:13 PM EST
    I just don't understand why an evidence marker wasn't put on them if they were in the grass beside his head. And why the crime scene tech report and testimony would be that they were in his pocket.

    Maybe they don't matter, but it bugs me. It seems like shoddy work, or at least incorrect listing of the contents of his pockets. Someone put them there if they were at one time in the grass. I wonder if they moved other things?

    Parent

    I recall reading early on that they were removed (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:59:10 PM EST
    from his person and placed on the grass near his body.  No link, but this is my recollection.  

    Parent
    If that's the case... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by redwolf on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:19:50 AM EST
    I'm sure the defense will bring it up.

    Parent
    I don't think so. (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by DebFrmHell on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:22:08 PM EST
    TO ME, it looks like one of the wires is going down into the hoodie. As to where they were originally they could have been moved when they turned the deceased over for CPR.

    I don't understand why they were reported to be in his pocket.  In my mind, that was another mistake in handling evidence.  It is right up there with the hoodie being stored in a plastic bag then placed into a paper bag..

    And I will never understand why they didn't get an evidence marker either.

    SNAFU'd.  IMO!

    Parent

    You know another screw up? (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:35:06 PM EST
    Let's assume for a minute that it happened exactly as GZ said.

    If the neighbor that was first out didn't take it upon himself to take pictures and the other neighbor hadn't requested a picture to identify GZ by rather than going over there, there would be NO pictures of GZ before the EMS people cleaned him up.

    I don't understand that either. I haven't checked the population of that area, so maybe they just didn't have the experience to handle evidence correctly.

    Parent

    My biggest (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by DebFrmHell on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:55:53 AM EST
    issue has to be that they did not bag his hands.  Compound that with the way that way the hoodie was packaged.  Throw in a report that labels items incorrectly (ME8 and ME12 that needed to be switched) or the report that the ear buds were in his pocket.

    TO ME, if the ear buds were in the pocket that would be a signal of some intent by Martin.  The fact that they weren't helps to negates that misconception.  The fact that the beverage can was in his pocket is still a factor, IMO.

    But I am certainly not a legal mind.  These are things that I thought were sloppily done and would raise questions if I were on a jury.

    Parent

    True (none / 0) (#81)
    by Jack203 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:11:43 PM EST
    But this case is bit of an outlier.

    Parent
    Brilliant catch Teresa. (none / 0) (#38)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:52:14 AM EST
    I hope O'Mara pounces on this. If it's a lie by Rachel, that's huge.

    I completely accept that a defendant will lie or stretch the truth, especially if they're falsely accused. They know they didn't do anything illegal, and want to put their actions in the best light. Punched 10 times or was it 40? Would it take 40 punches to make a reasonable person fear for their life? Who knows, I thought the guy was gonna knock me out, then he could have banged my head until I was dead or brain damaged. I'd better make it seem like he was trying to kill me right then.

    Not saying that was Zimmerman's thinking or even that's what happened, but if it was, I'd understand it. I think a jury might even agree.

    But if the prosecution is dishonest, or if a key prosecution witness lies to convict a man who didn't commit murder, that's beyond the pale. Especially if that witness or the deceased's family stands to make money off an erroneous trial result.

    We simply cannot have a fair legal system if that sort of thing goes on.

    Parent

    Lying by the Defense witnesses (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:29:55 PM EST
    is acceptable but beyond the pale when Prosecution witnesses do it?

    Double standards like this are very interesting.

    Parent

    Ever tried to count the number of blows while... (none / 0) (#48)
    by redwolf on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 02:55:33 PM EST
    while being beaten around the head?  It's pretty hard to do and all you're really left with impression that it was a lot.

    Zimmerman could have testified that he was hit 100 time and if they only found 10 confirmed blows would be enough for me.  Anything over a 3 or 4 and the accuracy of memory goes out the window.  Physical evidence/video tape is your best bet when it comes to a beating.  

    Parent

    Didn't say it was acceptable. (none / 0) (#50)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:47:45 PM EST
    I said I accept that people will do it, especially if they're being charged with a crime they didn't do.

    What's beyond the pale is lying with the potential to make money off someone else going to jail when they didn't commit the crime they're charged with. There's a huge difference there.

    Parent

    Perjury is perjury (4.00 / 4) (#58)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:41:46 AM EST
    Although you appear willing to give George Zimmerman a bye on lying.

    Parent
    I think Zimmerman is fighting for his life. (2.00 / 1) (#80)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:00:27 PM EST
    I believe Martin ran away but then came back and attacked Zimmerman. I'm open to the possibility that Zimmerman spoke to and tried to restrain Martin, but I think it was Zimmerman calling for help as Martin was pounding him. Martin was into fighting. That's the key reason in my mind that proves Zimmerman didn't commit murder. Forty five seconds of continued beating. It was self defense. I think Martin's belligerence got in the way of his good sense, and if his parents took a more active role in his life and mitigated cultural antagonistic influences, maybe he would have acted differently that night.

    Given that, if someone is charged with a murder they didn't commit, all bets are off. Yes, I would expect them to lie if they have to in order to save their life. Wouldn't you?

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    Do not agree (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:42:36 PM EST
    with this rationalization.

    Actually quite scarey.

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    This is absolutely craven argument (1.00 / 0) (#61)
    by bmaz on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:02:41 AM EST
    There was a factual basis, in fact an admission to facts that would constitute false swearing, if not indeed perjury, by Jeantel in the record. There is none of that as to Zimmerman. Disinformation appears your agenda.

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    I did not say that Zimmerman (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:31:31 PM EST
    lied under oath.

    The poster above was saying she would not fault Zimmerman if he lied.  It was a hypothetical.

    The point I was making is that there are not two different standards....Or perhaps you would disagree.

    Clearly, Zimmerman as far as I know has never testified under oath.  So, if one is being fair,  my comment should not have been taken that way.

     Clearly, the Prosecution is arguing thast he lied about a number of things.  And given that the Defense is using his out of court, unsworn statements to establish his claim of self defense, I am not so sure that saying he was not under oath is all that helpful to you.

    "Craven" is a personal attack--yet another one from you.  But you think that is okay.  And by the way, I think you misuse the word...

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    Not relevant here, but didn't defendant give sworn (none / 0) (#84)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:49:05 PM EST
    it was the state who introduced his statements (none / 0) (#85)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:01:25 AM EST
    to support its case. The defense didn't introduce them.

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    Where did George Zimmerman lie under oath? (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:50:55 AM EST
    Please refresh my memory.  Did he testify to the exact number of punches at any of the pre-trial court hearings?

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    Zimmerman has not testified (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:37:34 PM EST
    under oath, as far as I know, so therefore it is not possible for him to have committed perjury.

    I was responding to the assertion above that lying for the defense is somehow less blameworthy than lying for the prosecution.  Care to respond to that point?

    Moreover, given the immense weight many are placing on Zimmerman's out of court statements, you bet, it is fair to hold an unsworn lie against him.  

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    How hypocritical! It's okaaaaaaaay if the (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:39:06 PM EST
    defendant lies but it's not okay if other witnesses lie, most especially if they are a "key" prosecution witness.  Bwahahahahaha   Wonders never cease.

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    Number of punches (none / 0) (#51)
    by Char Char Binks on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:28:36 PM EST
    GZ has always been vague, but consistent, in regard to the number of punches (over a dozen in one telling, up to 25 in another -- check it on your calculator).  He didn't exaggerate, he just didn't KNOW how many times he was struck, because he wasn't counting.

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    "Judge Alex" (none / 0) (#43)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:59:38 PM EST
    on CNN just said he thought the Defense ME would opine that Trayvon's knuckles were not damaged from repeatedly punching Zimmerman because his heart stopped beating, preventing the flow of blood that would result in swelling of his knuckles....

    Interesting.  But still would leave open issues of why there was no tearing of the skin or actual breaking of bones in his hands....

    Dr. Bao said all of his (none / 0) (#45)
    by Teresa on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:07:34 PM EST
    blood ended up in his chest, so I could see no bruising or swelling. But that's not the same as saying the blood flow stopped period, as you just heard, is it?

    Can both produce the same result, I guess?

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    I thought they did not x-ray the hands, and (none / 0) (#47)
    by Cashmere on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:59:41 PM EST
    therefore would not know of any fractures to the hands.  Not sure about this.

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    TM (none / 0) (#52)
    by Char Char Binks on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:35:44 PM EST
    had an abrasion on his finger, possibly from punching GZ.  Why would you expect more or greater injuries than that?  There's no reason to believe he was punching at full force, or that all the blows were strictly "punches" by Queensberry rules.  Why would he punch hard enough to break his own bones, especially when he had GZ's head on concrete?  Strikes far below full force are going to hurt and damage an opponent quite effectively when a weapon (concrete) is used.

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    Or, perhaps, the abrasion on (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:14:55 PM EST
    Martin's hand was defensive?

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    Unlikely (none / 0) (#56)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:41:39 AM EST
    The abrasion was on the outside of the hand, where a punch would make contact.  A defensive injury would more likely be on the palm side of the hand, or on the forearm (I know, it's not a given, but it is more probable).  Also, there no evidence that he had anything to defend against -- Z is the only one with injuries (aside from the finger abrasion and bullet wound, of course), and none of Z's injuries are to his hands.

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    Do you have a link supporting your presumption (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:23:38 AM EST
    defensive wounds are generally on the palms?

    Parent
    Here's wikipedia for you (none / 0) (#63)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:27:24 AM EST
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_wound.  It links to some books.  The post you replied to did not say that defensive wounds are generally on the palms (that is your misstatement of the post), although that might be true.

    Parent
    Yes, I did not accurately summarize thr (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:34:50 AM EST
    comment to which I replied. And the wiki link does not refute an abrasion such as that documented in the autopsy report being an indication it was a result of his defending himself.

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    the state has concluded its evidence (none / 0) (#86)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:04:58 AM EST
    and they presented none to suggest his finger abrasion was defensive. They have to disprove his theory, it's too late to say well maybe it could have happened another way. The evidence is the evidence.

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    Martin had punched hard (none / 0) (#57)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:38:55 AM EST
    enough to, in Zimmerman's view, break his nose.

    If you punch someone in the face it will hurt your hand.  It is not like the movies where you punch over and over and not have any injury to your hands.....

    Go punch the wall 25-30 times, and see what your hands look like.

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    Or, I suppose (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:44:23 AM EST
    you could argue that the punches that Martin was throwing were not serious, hard punches.  Does that really help Zimmerman's self defense argument?

    Parent
    Unlike a wall, (none / 0) (#65)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:30:52 PM EST
    Z's head could move.  It's likely the first punch, the one that caught Z unaware, and bloodied his nose, was at high force.  Z's head probably spun upon impact, lessening the damage to M's hand.  The other strikes didn't need to be at full strength, because Z's head was on the ground and concrete.  Good described blows that could have been more like shoves than punches, possibly with the palm, forearm, elbow, or heel of the hand.  With concrete as a weapon, even if they were proper punches, they didn't need to be at full force to cause quite a bit of damage to Z, while leaving M's hands unscathed.

    If punching is as injurious to the punching hand as some people seem to imply, why would anyone do it?  It would be a greater help to one's opponent than to oneself.  

    Parent

    So, IF Z's nose started bleeding (none / 0) (#74)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:22:58 PM EST
    and he was lying on his back for many more blows (which did not injure his face again) then why did his bloody nose drip down onto his lips and not flow with gravity down the sides of his cheeks?

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    The medical people (none / 0) (#76)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:30:04 PM EST
    testified that when lying on one's back, the blood would flow down the back of his throat. I guess the blood on his mustache was either immediate, or when he got up after the gunshot.

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    Oops, hit post too soon (none / 0) (#77)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:31:37 PM EST
    In the car and onsite picture by the neighbor, there's a trail of blood on the right side of his mouth running down and stopping. I don't remember seeing the other side.

    Parent
    IANAD, but (none / 0) (#89)
    by Char Char Binks on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:47:08 PM EST
    while Z was on his back, the blood would flow down his throat.  When he stood after the gunshot, the blood started flowing out his nose.  

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    Omigod (none / 0) (#69)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:46:18 PM EST
    Lisa Bloom just said she thought the Prosecution had made a case for Murder 2.

    Funny because (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 03:22:17 PM EST
    Following tweets by defense attorneys think there's something interesting that came from Ben Crump's deposition over the weekend and that he will likely be called.

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    I doubt he'll let us in on his strategy, (none / 0) (#79)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:36:34 PM EST
    but O'Mara is on Piers Morgan tonight.

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    Did she say why? (none / 0) (#70)
    by Angel on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:50:43 PM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 03:26:16 PM EST
    She listed evidence but I cannot vouch that it was actually in the testimony.

    So, this may or may not be accurate but here it goes:

    Zimmerman intended to kill Martin--the issue being whether it was in self defense.

    Zimmerman's comments about Trayvon--"punk," etc. evidence an ill will.

    Zimmerman's comments about self-defense are inconsistent.  She focused on Zimmerman's comments that Trayvon saw his gun when he was on his back--but, according to Bloom, his gun was under his back and thus not visible...

    According to Bloom, Zimmerman had reported a lot of African-Americans as suspects to the police....
     

    Parent

    Wow. Quite a case (1.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Jack203 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:13:51 PM EST
    Exactly as I've said before.

    Assholes always get away and effing punks are the state's entire case.

    Truly unbelievable.

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    She's not followed closely (none / 0) (#75)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:28:35 PM EST
    then. The gun was on his side. The officer saw it when GZ told him.

    Parent
    that's entirely wrong (none / 0) (#87)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:20:35 AM EST
    Neither murder 2 nor manslaughter require an intent to kill. Only murder 1 requires an intent to kill.

    And his gun wasn't under his back. The officer testified it was on his side. Both the state's attorney and O'Mara even demonstrated that in court, lifting up their arms to show it.

    And her theory of the prior calls to non-emergency are inaccurate. Two (8/3 and 8/6) were for the same incident and it was the victim who ID'd the suspect as African American. He called when he spotted someone who fit the description on 8/3 and he ran off. He called when he saw him again on 8/6. And Zimmerman got the right guy. He lived in the complex,  eventually was caught when his fingerprints matched and he had some of the stolen property on him, pleaded guilty to several robberies (including the August one and one in Feb. 2012, which he didn't make any calls about.) Judge Nelson sentenced him to 5 years in prison.

    In another call, he didn't mention any people, only an open garage door. There was one call where he reported two African American males who he thought were loitering at the front entrance at 1:00 am in their car. The only other call was someone acting suspicious at Frank Taaffe's house, which is right at the shortcut. By the time police arrived, he had run off. I don't think that's a history of several. It's 2 or 3 he reported on his own, over many months.

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    Bloom was originally all... (none / 0) (#90)
    by bmaz on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:20:44 PM EST
    ..."gost the prosecution is doing very poorly and this trial looks GREAT for the defense". Since then by most semi-sentient observers, the prosecution's case has lost steam. But Bloom has done a 360. No idea where it comes from with her, but she appears to make most of her living as a TV commentator, not as a practicing lawyer.

    Parent