Zimmerman Trial: Defense Evidence Issues

During the pre-trial proceedings in the George Zimmerman case, both sides filed motions in limine to exclude evidence at trial. Some are still pending, some were granted, and some were granted or denied provisionally, meaning the court would make a final ruling during trial.

Here is the court's ruling on June 5 on the bulk of the state's motions to exclude evidence about Trayvon Martin, which had been argued on May 28. As to what the judge ruled before trial cannot come into evidence: [More...]

Evidence that Martin:

a. Had ever been suspended from school;
b. Communicated about, or previously used, marijuana ;
e. Had ever possessed or worn a set of (false) gold teeth;
f. Any aspect of Trayvon Martin's school records and or performance in school;
g. The contents of any text message received or sent by Trayvon Martin prior to February 26, 2012;
h. The contents of any text message received or sent by Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012.

The Court provisionally denied the state's motion to exclude the following:

Evidence that Martin:

c. Had ever allegedly been in a fight;
d. Communicated (or that has been attributed to Trayvon Martin) and had "screen names" via social media, regardless of format and the contents of any such communications.

However, the court said that its denial of the state’s motion on these matters did not mean evidence about fighting and social media would be admissible at trial.

...[this] is intended as a pretrial ruling and does not implicitly find that such matters will be admissible at trial. If a contemporaneous objection is made, the offering party may be required to establish the relevance, authenticity, and admissibility of such evidence before it may be presented to the jury.

The defense motion arguing against the exclusion of these items is here.

The state also filed a motion for protective order on the toxicology findings contained in the autopsy report, available here . The defense response arguing for admission of Martin's marijuana use based on expert opinions and research studies is here.

The judge granted the state's motion as to allegations Trayvon Martin used marijuana prior to February 26, 2012, and reserved ruling as to allegations that he used marijuana on February 26. The order is available here)

I think it is highly unlikely the defense will be able to show the results in the autopsy indicate impairment to a degree that might explain Martin’s physical attack on Zimmerman.

First, some background on how the toxicology issue has emerged at trial. During the testimony of Associate Medical Examiner Shiping Bao, the court sent the jury out of the room while it held what it called a "Richardson hearing" to determine whether Bao had advised the state he had changed his opinion in the last 60 days on whether the levels of marijuana in Martin's system indicated impairment. In his deposition in November, he testified he did not think the results indicated impairment. During his trial testimony, it became evident he was reading from notes. The court ordered him to turn the notes over to counsel for both sides. The notes showed that he changed his mind and now thought the marijuana levels in Martin’s blood could be indicative of impairment. During the “Richardson hearing’ Bao said he did not tell the prosecutor of his change in opinion because the prosecutor told him when they met to prepare for his trial testimony that marijuana use would not be an issue. He said his change in opinion was due to his review of scientific literature and speaking with experts.

The judge refused to allow the defense to question Bao on why he changed his mind since that wasn't relevant to the issue of whether Bao had told the state about his new opinion. But while they were still outside the presence of the jury, she allowed Don West to question him a bit more and make a record. During this round of questioning, Bao said he couldn't give an opinion as to whether the level of marijuana in Martin's blood was indicative of impairment because it might be and then again it might not be. Based on that answer, the judge said she was upholding her prior ruling granting the state's motion in limine on the marijuana issue. (Since her written ruling on the state's motion only excluded evidence of prior marijuana use, not use on Feb. 26, I assume but don't know, that she issued an oral ruling during trial extending her ruling to cover use of marijuana at any time, including on the 26th.)

No one has seen the actual toxicology report, as opposed to a reference to its conclusions which are contained in the autopsy report and a FDLE investigative report. The toxicology report was done by NMS Labs. NMS Labs has a Tox Wiki. Here is the page for cannabis/marijuana. From the information provided:

It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. Concentrations of parent drug and metabolite are very dependent on pattern of use as well as dose.

The higher number in Martin's autopsy report refers to Delta-9 Carboxy THC or THC-COOH (Carboxy), which is an inactive metabolite and non-psychoactive. The lower number, 1.5 ng/ml is the Delta-9 or psychoactive compound. According to the wiki page, which is from NHTSA, urine tests only indicate prior marijuana use:

Detection of total THC metabolites in urine, primarily THC-COOH-glucuronide, only indicates prior THC exposure. Detection time is well past the window of intoxication and impairment.

I don't think the level is indicative of impairment or that it was a contributory factor in Martin's decision to attack Zimmerman. (Then again, I don't believe that five nanograms is sufficient for a presumption of drugged driving. Marijuana affects people differently, and an amount that would impair an infrequent user might not impair a frequent user. The frequency of use can also affect estimates of when the person last used marijuana.) Nonetheless, the defense has indicated it is still hopeful it can get the evidence of alleged Martin's marijuana use into evidence through its own experts.

While I don't think the levels in Martin's blood as indicated by a sample taken hours after his death, can explain why Martin attacked Zimmerman, the results may be admissible for another reason. The state introduced Zimmerman's non-emergency call to police into evidence. Zimmerman tells the dispatcher on the call that that Martin seemed like he was on drugs or something. The state has made Zimmerman’s intent the central point of its case on second degree murder. It claims Zimmerman reported Martin as suspicious because he was profiling him as a criminal based on his looks, not his actions, and that this is evidence of his ill-will, hatred and spite.

Zimmerman's call to non-emergency begins with:

Hey we've had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there's a real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle, um, the best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.

During its opening statement, the state claimed Zimmerman was a wannabe cop who profiled Martin as a criminal. It said he had no objective reason to report him as suspicious.

[W]hen he saw TM he didn’t see a young man walking home. He saw someone who was real suspicious who looked like he was no good.

See the 2009 Florida case of State v. Arias. The defendant was charged with Murder 1 and asserting self-defense. At issue was his intent. The toxicology findings included in the autopsy report showed alcohol and traces of cocaine and cocaine metabolites in his blood. The state moved to keep it out of evidence, arguing that since the defendant and the decedent didn't know each other prior to that night, and the defendant had no knowledge that the decedent had used alcohol or drugs that night, the toxicology findings were irrelevant to defendant's intent. The trial court granted the motion.

But the state couldn't resist a cheap shot.. The defendant testified at trial and during cross-examination, the state questioned his ability to discern if someone was on drugs:

Q. When you testified to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury that he was acting crazy like on cocaine, that's just your assumption; is that correct, Mr.Arias?
A. It's correct.

The defense argued the state had opened the door to allow the toxicology report. The appeals court agreed.

[T]he State's parting shot was to make it appear that the defendant's testimony that the victim "was acting crazy like on cocaine" was just an assumption. Of course, the State knew that the toxicology results (excluded on the State's motion) confirmed the defendant's observations. This cross-examination was totally improper. Because this cross-examination deprived the defendant of a fair trial, we must reverse for a new trial.

The court cited precedent for the proposition that:

The prosecutor's use of the privilege of nondisclosure, first as a shield, then as a sword, unfairly prejudiced the defendant. While the State is free to argue to the jury any theory of a crime that is reasonably supported by evidence, it may not subvert the truth-seeking function of a trial by obtaining a conviction or sentence based on the obfuscation of relevant facts.

Here, the state has introduced defendant's statements containing his version of why he reported Martin as suspicious. Zimmerman says it was Martin's actions, not his appearance . The state claims he is lying, that he profiled him because of his appearance, and that he was a wannabe cop who killed Martin not because he had to, but because he wanted to (video of state's opening here.)

The state can't have it both ways. Since it introduced Zimmerman's statements to the dispatcher and Detectives Serino and Singleton into evidence in which he says he was suspicious of Martin was because of his actions, including that he seemed to be on drugs, it can't both assert he is lying and keep evidence from the jury that supports his contentions.

The Court in Arias also cited the case of State v Dias, a self-defense case in which the defendant sought to introduce the toxicology report as evidence of his state of mind. The court ruled he could not cross-examine the medical examiner on the toxicology report because it was outside the scope of what the prosecutor had asked on direct, but he could introduce the report during the presentation of his defense case.

This court said that it was permissible for the defense to offer the toxicology evidence in the defendant's case in chief. That was so because "[t]he medical examiner's toxicological findings served .. . to confirm the defendant's perception that the victim was, in fact, intoxicated."

More from the Arias court, citing an earlier case:

A homicide defendant is afforded wide latitude in the introduction of evidence supporting his self-defense theory. Where there is even the slightest evidence of an overt act by the victim which may be reasonably regarded as placing the accused apparently in imminent danger of losing his life or sustaining great bodily harm, all doubts as to the admissibility of evidence bearing on his theory of self-defense must be resolved in favor of the accused. The toxicology evidence comes in because it is relevant evidence, and not under any theory of admissibility of character evidence under subparagraph 90.404(1)(b)(2), Florida Statutes (2007).

Many other Florida cases reach the same conclusion. See State v. Warren, 577 So. 2d 682, and the numerous cases it cites for the same proposition. In the Warren case, the toxicology report was ruled admissible even though the medical examiner put the decedent's cocaine use at somewhere between the last 4 hours and 10 days , and there was no cocaine in the decedent’s blood showing he was under the influence at the time of his death -- only cocaine metabolites showing recent use. There was also a pipe found the decedent's body. The court stated:

Once the theory of self-defense was properly raised, defendant should have been permitted to present evidence which was relevant to the reasonableness of his belief that Taylor posed a threat of imminent danger to him.

...the pertinent inquiry was as to Warren's state of mind at the time of the killing. Whether reasonable grounds for killing exist is a jury question, as is the question of the defendant's apprehension of danger from the victim's attack. The evidence as to the Taylor's use of cocaine was relevant to this inquiry, and its exclusion compromised Warren's ability to present his self-defense theory, particularly with regard to the issue of whether this use of deadly force was justifiable. Accordingly, we reverse and remand for a new trial

The state's introduction of Zimmerman’s statements in their entirely into evidence is equivalent to Zimmerman testifying. The state has cherry-picked a few statements Zimmerman made and claims they are proof he profiled Martin as a criminal because of his appearance. The toxicology report, by confirming there were drugs in Martin’s system, supports Zimmerman’s assertion that he reported Martin because of his actions, not his appearance. The defense has a plausible argument it is admissible not as character evidence but to refute the state’s theory of intent.

< Saturday Open Thread | Zimmerman Trial: Toxicology Report Is Admissible >
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    trayvon's texts (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by ExcitableBoy on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:09:46 AM EST
    I see why prior texts can't be brought up at trial, but why can't any of Trayvon's texts from that day be brought up? They could be relevant.

    I recall it differently (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:31:37 AM EST
    I recall some statement about reaching for his cell phone, and not finding it in the pocket he expected to find it in.

    The order of events "at the T," in the reenactment is:

    Martin approaches Zimmerman and says something
    Zimmerman responds and looks for his phone
    Martin strikes Zimmerman in the face

    According to Zimmerman... (1.50 / 2) (#18)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:55:27 AM EST
    maybe that's how it happened, maybe it's not.

    Oh kdog, give it up old friend (1.00 / 1) (#193)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:19:21 PM EST
    It was not illegal for Zimmerman to follow Martin.

    It doesn't matter who struck the first blow. There is over whelming evidence that Martin was beating the crap out of Zimmerman.

    Ever considered that all Martin had to do was ignore Zimmerman? Walk away? Have a conversation? Stop hitting him in the face? Quit pounding his head in the ground...and just get up an leave??

    He did none of these.

    It is sad but he got what he deserved. No one is required to let someone beat them to death.


    Not deserved, but invited or risked (5.00 / 3) (#197)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:30:12 PM EST
    I don't agree that Martin deserved to die for what I think is a massive indiscretion and (since I find Zimmerman's account to be credible) a downright mean and unprovoked attack by Martin.  A much better outcome would have been for the police to arrive maybe a minute sooner and put an end to the beat down.  Then Martin would have (maybe, if the DA decided to charge) had to defend himself in court on a charge of aggravated battery.

    Another preferred alternative would be the shot running a few inches to the left, resulting in serious injury to Martin, but not death.

    Sometimes life delivers results that are "too harsh."  Sometimes driving too fast results in losing control of the car and death, sometimes just a wreck, sometimes just a ticket.  Martin was playing with fire, and got burned in the worst possible way.


    thank goodness (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:35:07 AM EST
    our legal system is based on reason and not people's emotion based opinions and that adults have rights too.

    Seems to me (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:45:46 AM EST
    you are taking one aspect of Jeralyn's post, assailing it, and ignoring all other aspects of the law she laid out, particularly, that the defense introduced def's statement, while events were occurring, that he thought Martin may be on drugs or something, and thus the defense is entitled to explore this topic.  

    It appears from Jeralyn's research, the court (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:16:09 AM EST
    should permit defendant to introduce evidence of Martin's tox. report. But to what effect?  How can defendant tie the results of the tox screen to his report Martin was on drugs "or something"?  Is there generally accepted scientific evidence as to the amount present when defendant first saw Martin?  Same question re the effect on Martin's demeanor.  And could defendant observe any such effect given the lighting and the distance between the two plus the hoodie. Seems sketchy.

    Marijuana use (5.00 / 0) (#141)
    by Blast Freezer on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:30:55 PM EST
    "How can defendant tie the results of the tox screen to his report Martin was on drugs 'or something'?"

    The medical examiner -- the State's own witness -- said that marijuana use could have affected Martin's behavior.  It is unfair to the defendant for that information to be withheld, while the State uses the defendant's "he look's like he's on drugs" as evidence of the defendant's ill will against Martin.

    The extent to which Martin's behavior was affected by marijuana would be up to the jury to decide, and they might decide that it had no effect.  The point is, they should at least have that information and be able to make a decision.


    Usually an expert is required. (none / 0) (#146)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:36:50 PM EST
    Not Just About Corroboration (4.00 / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:30:21 AM EST
    But, were MJ level allowed into the case, questions about Martin's judgement could be raised, particularly regarding paranoia.

    On the other hand, MJ has been known to have a calming effect, so it may be a wash..


    Plus Martin went to the store for (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:56:27 AM EST
    munchies n

    one bag of skittles (1.00 / 2) (#47)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:34:39 AM EST
    for his sort of brother?  That's not much of a case of the munchies.  

    "sort of" brother? (4.25 / 4) (#110)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:10:30 PM EST
    It is these kinds of vicious asides that really undermines any kind of validity your comments might otherwise have.

    Or because (none / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:57:40 AM EST
    He was a teenager.

    thishas been extensively discussed in other (none / 0) (#214)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 05:35:48 AM EST
    recent posts.

    I was wondering when/if a witness (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:52:27 AM EST
    would point out to BDLR when he shouts f'n punks and as*hole that's he's not using the same tone or manner that GZ did. Funny that it's the older lady with two sons around his age.

    GZ Tox Screen (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by bobbyshinod on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:44:45 PM EST
    Was there any drug testing done on Zimmerman at the time of questioning?

    No. (none / 0) (#119)
    by Angel on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:36:34 PM EST
    OK. I did not think about that. (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:54:31 PM EST
    But, since Z has had his gun for sometime, why do you think he felt a sudden desire on that particular night to act like some macho tough guy. He had shown no propensity to that kind of behavior till then. On the contrary, the evidence shows a non-confrontational person.

    On the contrary, the evidence shows a non-confron (5.00 / 0) (#184)
    by Jack203 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:21:29 PM EST
    What is wrong with you?  You need to use the scheme team logic.

    GZ's track record of non-confrontation is actually evidence of "a building frustration".


    Zimmerman didn't remember the class covering SYG. (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by David in Cal on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:59:35 PM EST
    <sarc>It therefore follows that he made an unprovoked attack on Martin, switched shirts with Martin, straddled Martin and viciously beat him up, so that Martin yelled for help. [Mr. Good identified the assailant by the color of his shirt] However, the vicious beating didn't leave a single mark on Martin.  Then Zimmerman switched the shirts back again, put Martin on top of him and shot him, as he had been planning to do all along.

    All this obviously follows from Zimmerman's failure to remember that SYG was covered on day in class.</sarc>

    Who screamed... (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:45:17 PM EST
    The most credible witness, to me, in this whole sorry mess was John Good. He didn't want to be in this position. He's also the only eyewitness to the actual fight.

    He said he could see the lighter skinned guy's face, he heard the yells and they came toward him, not away as they would had it been TM

    GZ told his neighbor who arrived immediately after the gunshot, and the first officer to come within a minute that he yelled for help and no came. He also said one person came out and yelled stop and he's calling 911. He had no way of knowing there was corroboration from a witness.

    For Anne: I could remember this wrong, but when he told his story, I believe he did say no one came to help and I had to shoot him. I think you asked something up above if he ever said he didn't want to shoot or something like that. I'm sorry if I don't remember correctly what you asked. If I did, just ignore this.

    I share the disgust with concealed carry laws. I don't like them and I think they can make a person more brave than they might have been. But, they're legal and I wish we could change that.

    On the "reenactment" video, defendants (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:22:36 PM EST
    stated he knew every person living in his complex.

    Z says TM confronted him, (5.00 / 4) (#161)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:46:35 PM EST
    and Rachel Jeantel corroborates that.

    If there as any stalking (5.00 / 2) (#167)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:16:06 PM EST

    If there as any "stalking" it can hardly be done carrying a lit flashlight on a dark night.  That announces your presence quite a ways off.  On the other hand, carrying that light in the dark makes you easy to stalk.  If anyone was being stalked it was George that fits that bill.


    If Trayvon mistakenly believed (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by Payaso on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:16:07 PM EST
    that GZ was going for his gun, that does not make GZ the aggressor.

    If we had some ham we'd have (none / 0) (#191)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:01:12 PM EST
    some ham and eggs if we had some eggs.

    GZ got his carry permit in 2008 (5.00 / 3) (#171)
    by Payaso on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:25:52 PM EST
    Referring to a neighborhood watch participant as an "informer" reveals a lot about you.

    It is a very sick culture that sides with crooks over cops.

    Anyone (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by friendofinnocence on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:37:56 PM EST
    You're kidding, right?  It isn't OK to punch someone in the nose for reaching in his pocket anywhere I've ever lived - and that covers a lot of ground, including the military.

    what do you base your judgement on? (3.67 / 3) (#117)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:24:00 PM EST
    what makes you think GZ carries a loaded gun in to the dark blah blah blah (sound like a bad spy novel).  And the characterization of me, what do you base that on? Can you back up your comments?  You don't know me in real life, correct?

    Why assume... (3.50 / 2) (#1)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:26:04 AM EST
    Martin started the fight?  What evidence is there or are you just taking Zimmerman's word for it?  The eyewitness claims Martin was on top punching Zimmerman, but he doesn't claim to have seen the first punch, correct?

    Sh*t as far as the rules of the street go, in my opinion it is clear Zimmerman started the fight, even if he didn't throw the first punch. He was, as my old man used to say, "cruisin' for a bruisin'".  

    Burden is on the proponent (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:35:46 AM EST
    If the state wants the jury to find that Zimmerman was the first person to resort to the use of force, the burden is on the state to produce evidence of that.

    I understand what you mean by "asking for it" or "cruisin' for a bruisin" being justification for coldcocking somebody, but the law is very well established and very clear that "starting it" involves a threat or use of force, as a matter of law.  IOW, your "street law," which no doubt exists, is in conflict with law as enforced by the court.


    I understand... (4.00 / 4) (#11)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:14:42 AM EST
    Zimmerman is presumed innocent of starting the fight, and of murder or manslaughter.  I also understand the defense can propose Martin threw the first punch as part of his self-defense claim...but that doesn't make it fact.  The way I read Jeralyn's post, she makes it sound like a fact.  Only Zimmerman knows, and he's got one helluva reason to lie about it.

    Shouldn't Trayvon Martin be afforded the same presumption of innocence by this site?  Another site rule here is not to speak ill of the dead...I guess that rule is on hiatus.


    No (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by gaf on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:18:57 AM EST
    Shouldn't Trayvon Martin be afforded the same presumption of innocence by this site?

    He is not on trial.


    Any signs of violence on Martin? (3.00 / 4) (#25)
    by redwolf on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:18:14 AM EST
    Besides the wounds to his hands?  Your theory has nothing to back it up.

    "Besides the wounds to his hands"'! (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:20:43 AM EST
    For someone that has... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by bmaz on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:54:21 AM EST
    ...been reading and commenting here on the Zimmerman case for as long as you, this is a ridiculous question to ask Jeralyn. She has laid out meticulously over the last year exactly why the evidence tends to demonstrate Martin was the critical aggressor. You can agree or disagree, but framing the position as a blithe assumption is simply ridiculous.

    Oh, and this trial proceeds by the rules of the court and rule of law, not the "rules of the street" - whatever "street" you live on.


    It is not a ridiculous question... (4.25 / 4) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:07:07 AM EST
    Jeralyn has been like gangbusters about stating opinions as opinions, and facts as facts.  Martin starting the physical altercation is an opinion...the fact is we will never know who threw the first punch or shove, it's a he said/he said and tragically one he is dead.

    Ridiculous Questions (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:53:26 AM EST
    Another potential sequence of events could have happene this way, kdog:
    Martin, a secret member of Jews for Jesus was working to get Florida to accept gay marriage so that he could marry his transgender secret boyfriend cum girlfriend..  His mission that night was to secretly sign up as many people as he could, ergo the dark, the hoodie and doing it in the rain, when no one would suspect him. Zimmerman on the other hand, a secret Muslim Jihadist heard that Martin was a Jew and gay, or something. He wanted to annihilate Zimmerman and had a plan. Cleverly told Martin that he was going to join his cause, but he wanted to seal the deal with a kiss. It being dark and all, and Zimmerman not wanting to blow his cover, also being secretly gay himself, and very clumsy, went for the kiss with unbridled passion. He would up hitting his nose on Martins bottle of ice tea. Martin, amused and a quick study realized what was really going on and cut to the chase. He told Zimmerman that he was a top, into BDSM, gunplay and was ready to go... things went badly.

    Not much evidence for that story either kdog..  but it could have happened that way, no?


    Anything is possible... (4.00 / 6) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:14:29 AM EST
    but I'd lean towards two most likely scenarios...Zimmerman initiating a physical altercation, or Martin initiating a physical altercation.

    All we know for sure is who finished it...the guy who doesn't believe in a fair fight and brings his gun to Target.


    I don't believe in fair fights. (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:48:32 PM EST
    I believe in self defense.

    Fair fight (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:16:18 PM EST

    What evidence do you have it was a fair fight?


    Likely Scenarios? (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:25:26 AM EST
    Your likely scenario has to do with your prejudices. In a trial like this, evidence is really key. The power of the State is awesome, so if there is any evidence, they would be the likely ones to find it.

    So you say it is the perfect crime..?  well better to let one person free than 10 innocents jailed, no?


    Correct... (4.00 / 4) (#37)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:46:50 AM EST
    Zimmerman should be acquited because of a lack of evidence and the existence of reasonable doubt...I'm much more interested in the right/wrong of his actions than the legality/illegality of his actions.

    I totally admit my prejudice, based on what George Zimmerman himself has admitted I think he's a gun-toting trouble-maker arsehole in the 1st degree.  I thank my lucky stars I have no neighbors who roll like he does....or did.  Hopefully this ordeal will bring about a positive change in his behavior.


    Well (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:57:58 AM EST
    I doubt that your assessment is only based on what Zimmerman has said. My guess is that you have sized up both Zimmerman and Martin and depended on stereotypes to come to your conclusion.

    People do not always act based on the script. And people who we dislike, or identify with do not always act as we imagine we would act were we in their shoes.

    Anyway, none of my points are news for you, as I am sure you have thought it through. ..  But ultimately tragic situation for many here... not to mention the divisiveness that this case has brought, regardless of the outcome it will not be good.


    Of course... (4.00 / 3) (#42)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:11:30 AM EST
    my intitial reaction, based on media reports, was much harsher...Charlie Bronson wanna-be dude kills unarmed black kid and doesn't even get arrested much less charged?  I was appalled.

    But the media spun it the way they do, to sell more papers and soap commercials, and as more of the story came to light I came to my current take on the whole sordid affair.  Not guilty for reasons of self-defense, the burden of proof cannot be met.  But my impression of the guy is that he's a total douche.  You know me long enough now to know how I feel about dime-droppers and informers and cops, both the real ones and the wanna-bes.


    My initial reaction was the same based on the (5.00 / 4) (#52)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:54:31 AM EST
    media reports. I was absolutely disgusted.
    But, as more details came to light and as this trial has progressed, I have come to believe that Zimmerman did not throw the first punch.

    In his previous calls to NEN, he asked that his name not be mentioned when police followed up on his various complaints. Even when he was reporting about the kids playing on the streets, he did not want his name brought up. Most adults I know would have spoken to the kids themselves or approached the parents. IMO, Z comes across as a fearful man  and non-confrontational, definitely not a bada$$ with a gun.

    You describe him as a "dime-dropper". How many dime-droppers that you know of, are also the aggressive, confrontational type?


    zimmerman (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by morphic on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:39:22 PM EST
       After today's court hearing, a lot of people would conclude that Zimmerman is considered a fine person by those who personally know him. Someone who'd go out of his way to help those in need.

    Yes (4.00 / 3) (#44)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:20:30 AM EST
    From what I have seen, I would not want anything to do with the guy either, we share that sensibility 100%.

    Jeralyn has gotten me hooked on the idea that how we treat the lowest among us, is very telling about how civilized we are.

    I too hope Zimmerman softens up due to his encounter and ensuing ordeal. That would be something positive to come out of this tragedy.


    I hear ya... (3.67 / 3) (#46)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:34:25 AM EST
    at (non-legally speaking) issue here is how Zimmerman treated Trayvon Martin too...even in the best of light it's just wrong, wrong, wrong.  What pains me the most is how so few here seem to realize it, and think he's some kinda god damn crime-fighter hero...that's what really kills me about this whole thing, as far as the societal debate is concerned.

    Maybe I read too much into what his staunchest defenders are saying.


    Rent A Cop (4.00 / 3) (#50)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:51:02 AM EST
    These communities are not somewhere I would want to live.. Zimmerman, and those whom he volunteered as Neighborhood Watch, could be seen as representative of the US fear driven slide that we have been seeing since 9/11.

    Many want a strong law and order society to make them feel safe.
    Sadly as we turn over more and more to those who would protect us we become the victims.

    I am with you, in that I would be willing to tolerate more risk from the bad guys, than live in fear of the would be protectors. But this is far from the common view these days. Had the events and spin played out differently, Zimmerman would have been applauded by many of those who want to see him fry. That is something I find very strange about this case.


    Good luck with that (none / 0) (#169)
    by Payaso on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:21:57 PM EST
    I would be willing to tolerate more risk from the bad guys, than live in fear of the would be protectors.

    Let us know how that works out for you.


    Criminals (none / 0) (#98)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:51:21 PM EST
    usually don't like dime-droppers, so no surprise.

    Criminals? (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:55:55 PM EST
    Most in our society do not like snitches, rats, tattletales.. and for those that are ok with sntiching etc, or do it themselves, I would guess that there is a higher distribution of snitches etc. in the criminal class than in the general population.

    Snitches in the criminal class (none / 0) (#114)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:14:48 PM EST
    True, and I was going to make that point, too, but I thought it more relevant that there's a higher distribution of people who hate snitches in the criminal class than the gen. pop.  I deem calling the police regarding crimes or suspicious behavior good citizenship, not "snitching".

    To Each His Own (none / 0) (#116)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:18:48 PM EST
    Keep the faith, (1.33 / 3) (#61)
    by Palli on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:24:11 PM EST
    but it's not like this hasn't happened before.  George isn't the first bully filled with self importance fueled by prejudice and a gun.

    kdog, you tell (none / 0) (#102)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:57:19 PM EST
    me, what would happen if someone in your neighborhood went around following someone at night the way Zimmerman did?

    I went to high school in Youngstown, Ohio, and if anyone tried to pull what Zimmerman did, he would be flat out done.  But that was awhile ago.  Perhaps things are different now?


    Things are not different... (1.50 / 2) (#123)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:55:08 PM EST
    those same unwritten rules apply...you don't behave like Zimmerman admits he behaved without expecting to be in a fistfight eventually in any neighborhood I've ever lived in...and I even lived in Florida, Pompano Beach and Tallahassee. New York forget about it...he'd be in a fight once a week.

    Not to condone violence, it just ain't worth it, especially these days with so many people carrying weapons, but it is totally understandable when faced with such creepy arse behavior and ill will.  Like I said above, "cruisin' for a bruisin'".  Unless Zimmerman grew up on a different planet or in a bubble, he should damn well know better.


    You worked hard (3.50 / 2) (#77)
    by Palli on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:21:56 PM EST
    to write that ridiculous trivialization, didn't you? Mocking serious apples and oranges issues is satisfying?

    Your opinion (none / 0) (#88)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:43:35 PM EST
    has no facts to support it, and is ridiculous.

    For safety sake, (2.67 / 3) (#62)
    by Palli on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:26:18 PM EST
    I couldn't live near George Zimmerman.  

    I understand that. (2.33 / 6) (#72)
    by redwolf on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:01:44 PM EST
    Zimmerman does have a history of watching, reporting, and being beaten by criminals resulting in the criminals death.  As a criminal yourself I'm sure you'd want to be far away from a guy like Zimmerman.

    Has defendant been beaten before by people (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:14:01 PM EST
    he followed?

    This post should be deleted (4.50 / 6) (#108)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:08:49 PM EST
    You just accused someone here of criminal conduct....That violates all the stated rules here.  

    redwolf: What did you say? (3.50 / 2) (#82)
    by Palli on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:33:56 PM EST
    "As a criminal myself..." referring to me, a person you do not know?

    Read (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:13:04 AM EST

    The Uncontroverted Evidence of Martin's Unprovoked Deadly Attack Upon Zimmerman

    There is also, O'Mara notes, no other reasonable hypothesis that can be derived from the available evidence other than that Zimmerman was under a physical attack, and that this attack was being delivered by Trayon Martin. No one can look at the photos taken of the scene of Zimmerman's face, of the injuries to the back of his head, and believe they were caused by anything other than a physical attack--and the only credible source for such an attack, especially given the injuries on the "punching" surfaces of his hands, is Trayvon Martin.

    Although some of the exact circumstances of the attack remain uncertain, the State has presented no evidence whatever that Zimmerman ever proceeded down the "dog path" in the direction that Martin would have taken had he been seeking the safety of home. Nor did the State introduce any evidence whatever that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin after being told by the dispatcher that doing so wasn't necessary. The State introduced no evidence that Zimmerman initiated contact with Martin--indeed, the State's "star witness" Rachel Jeantel, testified that it was Martin who initiated contact with Zimmerman.

    Zimmerman claims that it was at that T intersection that Martin emerged from the bushes, confronted him verbally, then aggressively attacked him with a punch to the nose that Zimmerman says he never even saw coming. The blow felt as if it had been delivered by a brick, Zimmerman told officers that evening, sending him to the ground with a broken nose. Zimmerman then claims--and the testimony of the only eye-witness, resident John Good, affirms--that Martin next mounted Zimmerman in an MMA-style dominating position and began raining blows upon his face and head, and smashing his head into the concrete sidewalk in a "ground-and-pound" attack.

    Again, O'Mara notes, the State has introduced not one scintilla of evidence to contradict any of those claims.

    At that point, struck to the ground by a surprise blow out of the dark, bleeding and chocking on his own blood, being beaten from an opponent sitting astride him, Zimmerman would have had a reasonable fear of death or grave bodily harm and could lawfully have used deadly force to defend himself.

    Zimmerman Used Deadly Force in Self-Defense Only In Extremis

    But, O'Mara emphasized, he didn't. Instead he screamed for help for 40 seconds, begging for someone to come to his assistance. Several people peered out their windows and heard noises but saw little. John Good, the only eye-witness, stepped outside onto his porch and observed the darker skinned man in the dark clothing on top of the lighter skinned man in the lighter clothing and demanded that he stop the apparent beating. The man on top in the darker clothes ignored him. John Good returned into his home to dial 911, as several other residents were also doing.

    State witness John Good

    Even then, when any hope of immediate aid was lost, when the blows continued to rain down, when Martin pressed his hands over Zimmerman's mouth and nose , cutting off his breath, when he feared the imminent loss of consciousness, even then Zimmerman did not yet resort to the use of deadly force in defense of his life.

    That decision came only after Zimmerman's licensed concealed gun, still secure in its holster, emerged from concealment because of the displacement of jacket during the attack, was observed by Trayvon Martin. "You're going to die, mother f#cker," Martin told him, reaching for the gun.

    Only then, with death seconds away, and no other alternative left to him, did Zimmerman draw his weapon and fire a single round into his attackers body above him.

    Again, O'Mara notes, the State has introduced not one scintilla of evidence to contradict any of those claims.

    As a result, Zimmerman's claims of lawful self-defense remain uncontested by any evidence, direct or circumstantial by the state. Self-defense is an absolute defense against the charge both second degree murder or manslaughter.

    The evidence... (2.67 / 3) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:18:43 AM EST
    namely Zimmerman's injuries, suggest Mr. Martin was winning the fight...but that doesn't mean he started it and/or threw the first blow.

    One theory could be Zimmerman tried to detain Martin by physical force till the cops arrived, then Trayvon preceded to kick his arse in self-defense, then Zimmerman got scared and shot him dead.  


    you missed the part (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:55:36 AM EST
    where the state did not introduce any evidence that Zimmerman threw the first punch or got physical in any way.  I have watched the trial from the beginning, I have not seen or heard a single scenario where they have proposed how Zimmerman attacked Martin.  Other than the testimony of Miss Rachel Jeantel saying she sort of kind of might have heard TM say a little "get off" which we know by evidence doesn't mean GZ was on top of TM, there just is no evidence that GZ was the aggressor.  

    There is also no evidence... (4.00 / 3) (#23)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:16:16 AM EST
    that Trayvon Martin was the aggressor.  Just because the eyewitness claims to have seen Martin pummeling Zimmerman doesn't mean Martin started the fight, just that he was winning the fight.

    yes there is kdog (4.20 / 5) (#31)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:26:24 AM EST
    The state introduced the evidence by playing the video of GZ walking through the incident.  That is evidence, whether you like it or not. Is the jury supposed to pay attention only to those parts of the tape that hurt Zimmerman and ignore those that help?

    The walk through... (3.50 / 2) (#34)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:33:56 AM EST
    is just a demonstration of Zimmerman's account...nothing more.  Pretty useless unless you take Zimmerman's word as gospel.

    Granted, Zimmerman has no burden to prove anything, that's the prosectors burden, and a burden I feel they have failed to meet.  But lets not pretend his little re-enactment is evidence.


    But it can be evidence (5.00 / 5) (#45)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:26:32 AM EST
    so to say that the defendant's account is not evidence is incorrect.

    That it is evidence that you discount does not turn it into non-evidence.


    Say what? (1.50 / 2) (#74)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:09:42 PM EST
    If I am accused of robbing a bank, and I re-enact how I was sitting in my bedroom reading a book at the time of the crime, that's evidence?  I thought that would just be called my story, whether it was true or not.

    Yes, it is evidence (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:33:33 PM EST
    if your re-enactment is televised at the trial.

    Given that the prosecution offered (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:18:26 PM EST
    the "reenactment" video and the jury has viewed it, in this case it is evidence. Otherwise it would be "self-serving hearsay" except as to any admissions against defendant's interest.

    What you said (none / 0) (#136)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:22:51 PM EST
    which is what I said.

    But will the information be received?  

    Probably not.  Or, perhaps, no matter.  When information is not acceptable, not in accord with a worldview, the information is ignored.  Or the commenter continues to dispute the information as not the way it oughta be in a better world.  Etc., etc.


    The commenter to whom you (none / 0) (#144)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:34:28 PM EST
    refer is entitled to express his opinions.

    You don't understand. (none / 0) (#124)
    by Leopold on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 03:05:29 PM EST
    There's "evidence" and then there's evidence.

    Ah. So I now "understand" (none / 0) (#132)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:15:23 PM EST
    or understand?

    For that matter, is this a "comment" or a comment?

    And are you "you" or you?


    angela corey conceded (none / 0) (#212)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 04:41:13 AM EST
    Corey conceded Martin first hit GZ during an interview with HLN  the day after the verdict. She say they never denied he had his Zimmerman. The bullet went into his chest while Martin was on top of him. they haven't challenged that. The ballistics test the bullet entered where GX said he shot.

    Yeah, except (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:11:00 AM EST
    There's no evidence of that.

    Exactly my point... (3.50 / 2) (#24)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:17:45 AM EST
    nobody knows who started the fight but Zimmerman and Martin, who is deceased.

    The lack of any signs of Martin being (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by redwolf on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:22:07 AM EST
    on the receiving end of a fight means nothing to you?  

    Proves nothing... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:28:59 AM EST
    Zimmerman could have swung and missed, or just tried to grab Martin, at which point Martin opened a can of whoop ass, and Zimmerman went for the gun.

    Precisely why (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:37:01 AM EST
    Zimmerman has to prove absolutely nothing.

    Only two people know what really happened.  One is dead. But the state (so far) does not seem to be able to prove the situation happened any other way than what the defendant said. Just because it could have happened some other way, that is irrelevant if the state can't prove it.


    Someone taking a punch at you... (4.00 / 4) (#36)
    by redwolf on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:39:53 AM EST
    And you pin them to the ground and beat their head against concrete?  That's already gone beyond a fair fight and into Zimmerman fearing for his life.  Head injuries are no joke and they often are fatal or cause permanent brain damage.

    Replying to redwolf: and you pin them to the grou (3.25 / 4) (#54)
    by honeybee13 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:59:04 AM EST
    But GZ only sustained minor injuries, no head injury to speak of.  Just a few minor cuts they put band aids on.  Truth is head wounds bleed more than any other wounds so they look worse than they are.  May I ask you, why is it that George never defended himself by walking away, or punching TM, or hitting him back?  Seems to me he sure didn't exhaust all his efforts in the few brief moments he was getting hit, just relied on his gun.   Another thing I don't understand, maybe you can enlighten me, why was the person with the gun screaming for help?  

    It could be because he did not want to resort (5.00 / 5) (#56)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:10:23 PM EST
    why was the person with the gun screaming for help?

    to using his gun. JMHO.

    As for head injuries,I don't believe the wounds are always indicative of the degree of the injury. I was in a car accident when my head went through the windshield. The windshield was shattered but I did not have a single scratch or a bruise on my head/face. If my friend had not been in the car with me, I don't think anyone would have believed what happened. As it is, he screamed his head off, thinking I had just died!


    No head injury to speak of (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:53:21 PM EST
    as long as we don't speak of them.  People have died from head injuries with no external bleeding at all.

    seems simple to me why he called for help (4.20 / 5) (#60)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:22:50 PM EST
    he didn't want to use the gun.

     Also count 40 seconds on the clock and imagine getting punched in the face for that long.  If you have ever been punched in the face or sat on and punched in the face, or had your mouth and nose covered so it felt like you couldn't breath for even a few second you might feel differently.  
    The person on the bottom is at a major disadvatage in a fight.  Try it and see.


    So why didn't he wait for help? (4.00 / 4) (#68)
    by Palli on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:55:04 PM EST
    I suspect, George Zimmerman wanted to be heroic.  He wanted to handle the situation himself. He imagined catching a burglar or, at the very least, scare some kid with his awesome power to stop, question and detain a person he deemed "suspicious". No doubt his adrenaline was pumping and he was in pursuit, thinking "these guys always get away" well, not this one! Oh boy.

    Logical responsibilities for a neighborhood watch volunteer would have been closer study of the neighborhood: yet he couldn't identify the street and the nearest entrance better to the community for the police.

    No, I wouldn't live near him.


    Can we put the pursuit word to rest? (3.67 / 6) (#177)
    by labrat on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:41:56 PM EST
    The altercation took place very near to GZ's vehicle. If he was pursuing, chasing, walking or running after TM, why was TM home behind a locked door? Why were they back where they started?

    The ONLY logical explanation is that TM went back to find GZ, all other scenario's fly in the face of the evidence and require one to stretch one's imagination beyond common sense.

    Occam's razor.

    I'm so tired of the claim that TM did nothing wrong. If he was just walking home from the store, he would have been sharing his skittles with Chad while GZ was picking out groceries at Target.



    Has Zimmerman ever said that? (3.25 / 4) (#73)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:03:50 PM EST
    In all of the statements and interviews and re-enactments, has he ever said he didn't want to use his gun?

    I haven't been following this minute-to-minute and dissecting everything anyone has ever said, so I don't know the answer to that question, but it seems to me that if he had ever said it, someone would have pointed it out.

    Does it mean anything if he didn't say it, if this is just your way of explaining why it has to be Zimmerman screaming and not Martin?

    There's a reason why George took his gun with him, isn't there?  Ask yourself how this whole scenario would have been different if George didn't have a gun.  Would he have just called in his concerns and gone on his way?  Would he have ever followed Martin in his truck?  Would he ever have left the safety of his truck?  Would he have gone on foot for whatever reasons he gave?

    Yes, he had a legal right to carry the gun - we know that - but for you to try to say that he didn't want to use it is just stretching things a little too far past common sense and logic.

    Or maybe...he was the one screaming, as he realized that he had inserted himself in a situation that wasn't going as he imagined it would, and that he wasn't as prepared to handle it as he thought he would be.

    I ask again - would any of the events leading up to the shooting have happened if Zimmerman left his gun at home?  I don't think so.


    Anne, you are making Zero sense (5.00 / 2) (#207)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:56:07 PM EST
    I am not saying that to be rude.  Seriously, I am not, but you have no clue what you are talking about on this subject.  People who have weapons permits do not get them because they are hoping some day they can get the chance to shoot some one.  they get them because they have been victims in the past or live in high crime areas.  They have family members or neighbors who have been victimized.  For whatever reason they decide to carry a gun for self protection and when they do they make a habit of it.  In other words, it just becomes routine.

    There was a reason GZ had his gun.  He probably always had his gun except for those times when he was going somewhere where he could not carry it, such as a government building, hospital etc...


    What are you implying (4.20 / 5) (#125)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 03:12:53 PM EST
    There's a reason why George took his gun with him, isn't there?

    That he went out hunting?  That he was on the prowl?

    He had it holstered on his side and under his jacket when he was going out to Target.  And no, while I think that is dumb, I am not a gun supporter, and don't see why one would NEED to carry a gun to Target, but people who have concealed weapons permits do carry them all the time - otherwise they would not have concealed carry permits.  

    Are you implying he was brandishing his weapon as he gave chase and stalked Martin down the street?  That would be convenient, except for the little fact that there has been no evidence whatsoever presented to that, except by people who continuously spout wrong information about the case - which would be about half the people around here and most of the media.

    Martin likely didn't even know Zimmerman had a gun (according to the testimony) until they were fighting and Zimmerman's jacket opened.  Even then, there's no guarantee that he saw it at that point.

    Just because you keep saying "There's a reason George took his gun with him," does not make your implication true.  


    BS jb (5.00 / 1) (#209)
    by fishcamp on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:17:46 PM EST
    I've had a carry permit for years and never carry my gun on my body.  It's only in the car when I drive to Miami.

    Wow...talk about just makin' sh!t up. (2.80 / 5) (#129)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:09:06 PM EST
    No, i'm not implying any such thing; what i'm stating is that george had a reason for taking his gun with him - strange that the first thing you want me to be trying to imply is that he was out "hunting;" why not "because i might need to be able to protect/defend myself?" Makes too much sense, i guess.

    I also didn't come close to suggesting he was brandishing the gun - where do you get this crap?  Go have that argument with someone who's actually making those kinds of speculations.

    And, golly - that last sentence, the huffy one? That's hilarious. You're the one drawing inferences that aren't there, but the one thing that IS true?  He had a reason for taking it - and all I was getting to is that if he didn't want to use it, why did he take it?  


    Why do you put your seatbelt on? (4.25 / 4) (#137)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:25:29 PM EST
    Is it because you want to get into an automobile crash?  Of course not.  You wear a seat belt as a precaution.  If you have the misfortune of "going to be" involved in an automobile crash, you don't have time to put your seat belt on.  Similar with taking self defense precautions, such as taking a gun.  One doesn't take such precautions because one wants to be a a fight to the death.

    -- and all I was getting to is that if he didn't want to use it, why did he take it? --


    Correct me if I'm wrong (3.00 / 4) (#143)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:34:20 PM EST
    Because he was already wearing it when he got in the truck to run his errand. In other words, he didn't necessarily feel he needed it specifically to pursue Martin, he just HAPPENED to have it on him. I don't know WHY he felt the to wear it to run an errand, but he did.  

    I haven't seen anything that said he stopped to get his gun because he was afraid and grabbed it when he got out of the truck to see where Martin went.
    If you have something that says otherwise, I would ask that you please post it.


    And I didn't say that he stopped to get (2.80 / 5) (#152)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:58:08 PM EST
    his gun, did I, so why are you plopping that into your response to me?  I also didn't say he needed it specifically to pursue Martin - in fact, all I did was ask the question, as it related to someone else positing that he was screaming because he didn't want to use the gun.  It's all right there in print - no need to embellish or make stuff up, unless you're just incapable of honest debate.

    I have no problem with you attempting to answer that question, but you don't seem able to do that, either, without first creating a fantasy.

    We will probably never know or be able to examine
    Zimmerman's state of mind, because I doubt he will be testifying, but I'd like to understand the mind of someone who feels the need to wear a firearm to go buy groceries. The mindset of someone who thinks it's a good idea to get out of his car in the dark and - pick a word: investigate/follow/pursue - someone he didn't know anything about.  

    I'd like to know what the PD liaison to the watch program told the volunteers about carrying weapons - and yes, I know that this wasn't George-on-patrol, but if the protocol was call, don't get involved, don't take risks, why did George think it was a good idea to get involved, take the risk and take a loaded weapon into a possibly iffy situation?

    I'll try to make this simple for you, but I don't hold out any hope that you'll be able to stop yourself from making it into something it isn't: it may be legal to carry a weapon, legal to get out of your car to investigate, but that doesn't mean it was smart.  


    Except (5.00 / 5) (#166)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:14:54 PM EST
    That's pretty disngenious of you as this wasn't even close to the first time you asked that question.  You have repeatedly throughout these Zimmerman threads questioned why was he carrying a gun in the first place.  While you may not like it, and I may not like it, it doesn't really matter why he was carrying a gun.  We can debate all night about the wisdom or folly of concealed weapons laws, but it still doesn't matter - he had a legal right to do so, and there has been no evidence to show that he maliciously and purposefully pulled it out specifically to go after Martin.

    You're right - if he wasn't carrying a gun, Martin would probably still be alive today. Of course, on the flip side, Zimmerman might be dead or severely injured if he hadn't had his gun. We will never know but this constant playing coulda-woulda-shoulda does no good.


    You're still not getting it, jb: (3.00 / 4) (#179)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:54:33 PM EST
    I asked the question in response to someone else suggesting that it was Zimmerman screaming because he didn't want to use his gun; it's the only question that makes sense in light of that contention.

    And I have neither suggested nor implied nor hinted that he even had the gun out prior to the actual shooting, so what is the point of your connecting the fact that he was carrying legally with there being no evidence that he "maliciously and purposefully pulled it out specifically to go after Martin" when I never suggested there was?

    You might want to consider having these kinds of arguments with the people who are actually making them.


    I believe (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by Aunt Polgara on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:40:13 PM EST
    that at some point, Zimmerman stated that he had forgotten that he even had the gun until he saw Martin reach for it.

    Possible answers... (5.00 / 2) (#181)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:12:13 PM EST
    someone else positing that he was screaming because he didn't want to use the gun

    Is it that hard to believe that he was hoping that help would arrive before he had to resort to using his gun? Do you believe that owning a gun means that a person is ready to shoot at the slightest provocation? That a reasonable person would not hold out till he/she felt that they had no other choice?


    I'd like to understand the mind of someone who feels the need to wear a firearm to go buy groceries

    I will never understand the concept of concealed carry weapons. IMO, unless you are a highly trained professional, it is a horrible idea.


    why did George think it was a good idea to get involved, take the risk and take a loaded weapon into a possibly iffy situation?

    IMO,the fact that TM was running away made Z believe that it was no longer an iffy situation and it was safe for him to get out. Earlier, when TM was circling Z's vehicle, Z did not get out and confront him. He was also too afraid to give his home address to the dispatcher just in case TM overheard him. If he was some kind of macho gunslinger, he would not be so afraid. Afterall, if TM had showed up at his house, he had a gun to protect himself.


    "slightest provocation?" (2.33 / 3) (#189)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:47:03 PM EST
    I think if someone is prepared to use their weapon at the slightest provocation, that person probably shouldn't have a gun, although I think what constitutes the varying degrees of provocation will be different from person to person.

    I guess what it comes down to for me is that I don't think George Zimmerman was good at analyzing situations and making good decisions; I think he overestimated his abilities, and by the time he realized that, it was too late for do-overs.  

    But it's not illegal to make bad decisions; if it was, we'd all be doing time.

    It's just that even though the question will come down to what George reasonably believed in that little snapshot of time in which the actual, physical fight occurred, the reality is that life can't be reduced to snapshots, not if we want to make any sense out of it.  Some people think they have made sense of it - they are comfortable with the self-defense claims - but I still have questions, and I doubt they're going to get answered.

    And the bigger picture of that night is something that's going to have to make sense to the people on that jury because they're human and don't have the training to see these things in the little pieces the law requires of them.

    I think it's entirely possible that each of George and Trayvon were in fear, and each reacted to that fear - but only one of them ended up dead.  It's hard to call it a draw when someone dies.  What really bothers me though is what you can read in these comment threads every day - some of the most vile and vindictive and ugly comments used to justify the death of a young man.


    I agree. It is an aspect I have struggled with. (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:43:17 PM EST
    even though the question will come down to what George reasonably believed in that little snapshot of time in which the actual, physical fight occurred, the reality is that life can't be reduced to snapshots, not if we want to make any sense out of it

    So, I am just trying to focus on whether there is reasonable doubt.  


    Punched in the face (3.00 / 2) (#113)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:14:40 PM EST
    for 40 seconds.  Very unlikley in my opinion given the lack of abrasions and lacerations on Trayvon's hands....

    Go punch a wall for 40 seconds and see what happens to your hands...


    Couldn't disagree more.... (1.00 / 1) (#63)
    by magster on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:40:42 PM EST
    and as I follow this trial, the argument of why the guy with the gun would be screaming/pleading for his life may be the strongest point for the prosecution. Seems much more logical for the person at the end of the barrel of a gun to be screaming for help.

    Probably not enough for a conviction, but if there is one, I would expect a juror to claim that they could not get past that point.


    logical? (5.00 / 2) (#192)
    by ding7777 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:04:24 PM EST
    Seems much more logical for the person at the end of the barrel of a gun to be screaming for help.

    Its illogical to think GZ was aiming the gun  at TM for 30 - 40 seconds without pulling the trigger while TM continued to ground and pound


    Who had the most threatening weapon (3.25 / 4) (#70)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:59:35 PM EST
    and therefore posed the most threat Martin or Zimmerman?

    I love how it's perefctly o.k for Zimmerman to proactive with a loaded gun at night but not o.k for Martin to be proactive in a situation in which he had such a decided disadvantage..


    not true (none / 0) (#213)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 05:32:25 AM EST
    Rachel said Martin began the verbal encounter asking GZ "what are you following me for?" GZ told him he wasn't--What are you talking about?." Until Crump told W8 that she had said something different to Sybrina and asked her to repeat what she told her, that was her story. When she repeated it to Crump she did it his way, "What are you doing around here."?  So however you dice it Rachel has TM making his demand first.  Martin hit Zimmerman, knocked him down and they rolled or walked a few feet when Martin got on got top of him outside Goods' and straddled him , hitting his head against something hard like concrete. GZ had no marks on his hands to indicate he struck Trayvon or was in a fight.Martin had abrasions on his finger.

    Fear would not be enough Martin to allege justifiable use of nondeadly force. GZ would have had to threaten to detain him or grab him and that never happened according to the evidence. GZ's testimony is as valid for the jury to consider as anyone elses, and more importantly, no one contradicted him.

    In every case the decedent cannot tell his side of the story. The forensics speak for them. The forensics in this case, according to the expert, was consistent with GZ's version of events.

    That's the last I'm discussing this. You either accept the facts or read watch every witness's testimony and opening and closings, and see if this is not correct.

    The biggest myth in this case is from people who regurgitate what they read elsewhere, and come jup with things like Martin got out of the car after being told not to.  Read the transcript. Th dispatcher said which way did he run and Z. got out of his car to see where he ran. That's when the dispatcher said, Are you following im? We don't need you to do that, and he said okay. There's no evidence he continued to follow Martin after that point, as opposed to what he says, that he was walking back to his car.


    Detaining Martin? (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Blast Freezer on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:14:01 PM EST
    "One theory could be Zimmerman tried to detain Martin by physical force ..."

    There's no evidence of that -- no bruising or scratches on Martin's arms from GZ trying to hold him.  Martin's clothing is not torn nor was his sweatshirt partially removed, as if he were trying to pull away from GZ's grasp.  No one saw GZ try to detain Martin.  No grass stains on Martin's clothing from GZ tackling him.  

    The State proposes to punish George Zimmerman.  Thus the State must prove THEIR case beyond a reasonable doubt.  They can only do that through evidence.  It's not enough to say "maybe this happened, maybe that happened."  Personal speculations are not evidence, and as I understand the purpose of this blog, not appropriate here.


    "rules of the street"? (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by melamineinNY on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:18:01 AM EST
    I guess that would get a number of us in trouble who don't know said "rules of the street" but try to follow the law instead. I hope your old man taught you not to cruise for a bruisin' from a stranger who had not approached you and was not cruisin' for a bruisin' and might be packing a gun for self-defense.

    It would be common sense (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:04:53 PM EST
    to not follow someone at night....If you really think that that is not a risky behavior, then walking around major cities at night would not be advisable.

    If you follow the law... (2.00 / 1) (#49)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:41:58 AM EST
    instead of your conscience, that's you're problem.  The law is a joke...in practice, if not in concept or theory.

    But thank you for your concern, I've managed to avoid fisticuffs all but once since junior high.  I don't go looking for trouble, unlike somebody in the news.


    kdog (2.33 / 3) (#182)
    by Jack203 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:14:07 PM EST
    "He was, as my old man used to say, "cruisin' for a bruisin'".  

    Thank you for describing the very real motive TM had for assaulting George.  You nailed it.



    Do we go by the Law of the state of Florida (none / 0) (#83)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:38:27 PM EST
    or some other "law"?

    I am amazed (3.25 / 4) (#112)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:13:53 PM EST
    I think the rating system here is meaningless.  I generally use it to give fives if I agree with someone or to counteract when I think someone is getting picked on.  I also give out ones to people who are really obnoxious and abuse the system when I have had all of their nonsense I can take.  
    So generally I don't pay attention.  But you need to stop and think about what you are doing here. You are getting all emotional and passing out ones rather than facing facts.
    No one is saying TM getting killed is OK.  What do you not understand about self defense?  This is what this case is about.  That is what we are discussing here.  We are not discussing your own personal feelings about gun laws or race relations.  When I say TM did something wrong, how in heaven's name can you dispute that it is wrong to beat someone up?  Do you question that he punched Zimmerman in the face, that he had him pinned to the ground?  Do you really feel it was justified by Zimmerman following him?  Are your politics so powerful in your judgement of people that the fact that someone carries a gun makes him a terrible person and deserving of a beating that he should have just taken with no response?

    While it seems to you that carrying a gun and being on neighborhood watch makes GZ deserving of severe bodily harm or death, it seems to me that it was lucky he had his gun on him.  That next blow to his head could have caused brain damage or worse.

    One look at Zimmerman (3.00 / 6) (#27)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:19:09 AM EST
    tells you that TM did something wrong.  The fact that GZ was carrying a gun for self protection only mattered after the fact that he was beaten. He was beaten.  He was held down.  He called for help and no one came, even the people who saw what was happening would not come.  Then TM saw the gun and only then was it pulled and fired. You make it sound as if he went after the kid with his gun in his hand ready to shoot someone.  
    The vast majority of people who carry guns never take them out of their holsters much less point them at anyone or shoot them. Having a gun doesn't mean you want to use it.  

    lol (3.00 / 2) (#90)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:44:19 PM EST
    so now all gun owners are super responsible and know all pertinent laws and regulations.  How conveeeenient that gun owners can be pretty much whatever you want depending on the prejudiced politics of the day.  Just a few months ago they were all ignorant nuts who neither knew nor understood the laws pertaining to owning or carrying guns or anything about gun safety.

    Well, you would have us believe that (2.33 / 3) (#103)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:57:45 PM EST
    Zimmerman was such a responsible gun owner that he didn't even want to use his gun - or is that not your argument anymore?

    And is it really conceivable that someone interested in a career in criminal justice would be ignorant of a law that I have to imagine was all over the Florida media as it was making its way through the legislature?  That he would have no interest in it?

    Come on, Teresa - maybe all of this makes sense to you, but it's just not credible in my opinion.


    Knew but not necessarily understood the SYG law (none / 0) (#134)
    by Palli on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:20:10 PM EST
    Too many gun owners in the SYG states know "Stand Your Ground" laws as an excuse-any ground they stand on is theirs.

    George Zimmerman's lawyers didn't use it because it doesn't legally apply here. But I suspect that action took some explaining.


    The SYG (5.00 / 2) (#185)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:26:10 PM EST
    Addendum to the standard castle doctrine seems quite complex Most lawyers on this ite were not familiar with all the ramifications and case law that surrounds it. Jeralyn need to do a significant amount of research just to describe the relevant charging language

    NRA training relies on guidelines significantly more restrictive  than SYG.

    I suspect the disconnect is with the acronym. If GZ had been asked when it was permissible to use deadly force or perhaps about the castle doctrine I am confident he could respond.


    GZ (1.00 / 1) (#55)
    by honeybee13 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:07:27 PM EST
    I have a few questions I would really like answered and thought maybe someone here could help me.  Why didn't George Zimmerman ever identify himself to Treyvon that night as a neighbourhood watch person with police on the way? He had opportunity to do so.  Why did GZ lie to Shaun Hannity about knowing the stand your ground law? He took classes and aced them on that law.  Why did GZ tell the dispatcher he needed to get out of his car to find the address?  He lived there for 3 years and there are only 3 streets in that gated community.  GZ's neighbors called 911, but GZ wants us to believe he had no idea where he was?  Its odd.  Why after only 2 minutes of being beat did GZ never once defend himself except for with a gun? and finally.... Why was the person with the gun the one yelling for help?  Can someone answer my questions?

    Search (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:14:48 PM EST
    All your questions can be answered by searching through the TL archives.   site:talkleft.com zimmerman identify himself,

    site:talkleft.com Hannity SYG Zimmerman


    be creative in your searches and all your questions will be answered.

    good luck!


    In answer to the last question, a supporter of Z (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by David in Cal on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:18:01 PM EST
    would say that Z was calling for help because he didn't want to shoot.  The supporter would argue that Z's decision to take the beating for some period of time shows that he didn't have a depraved mind.

    any reasonable person (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:50:19 PM EST
    would say so.  It is logical, unless you assume anyone who carries a gun is itching to use it.

    GZ did not (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:57:00 PM EST
    take courses in the SYG law and ace them.  He took a course that included the teacher talking about that law though it was NOT in the book.  He may have missed the day it was discussed or forgotten the name of the law etc....  Do you remember the name of every law, theory, math concept you may have learned and even answered correctly on a test?  If you say yes, you are probably a liar or have a photographic memory.

    ..because SYG was such an insignificant (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:20:44 PM EST
    law for a neighborhood watch guy with a gun permit..

    Why the contortions and tapdancing in the attempt to prove Zimmerman wasn't that familiar with the SYG law?  


    The contortion is the claim (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:32:21 PM EST
    that everything that a teacher says is remembered by a student.  For counter-evidence, see:  Any school, college, etc., today.

    And without evidence that the student even was in attendance, as well as other questions that seem obvious, the contortion becomes downright acrobatic.  


    you've asked this before and your (none / 0) (#216)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 05:40:07 AM EST
    questions are laden with pr-conceived guilt.
    I'm sure you can find tha answers somewhere, but I'n not going to answer the again. Especially given your phrasing of the questions, you are not looking for an honest answer but one that aids you in your ability to claim he's not credible.

    Unless you are a more experience prosecutor than those that prosecuted him, I suggest you go to You Tube and watch the actual trial


    The order is malleable (none / 0) (#2)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:30:59 AM EST
    Judge Nelson allowed some of the self serving hearsay statements, even though her June 5 Order claims that the state's motion was granted in that regard, without objection from the defense.  It may be that other items will similarly fall.

    That sentence should read (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:28:37 AM EST
    "But to suggest Zimmerman....whatever, wasn't an aggresor himself, just isn't honest to me."

    The crux. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Leopold on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:41:11 AM EST
    Of course, laws by nature need not be moral.

    And neither does the practice of law.

    the practice of law (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:32:09 PM EST
    were it at the mercy of people's individual morals would not work for the majority of society.  Our trust in the legal system is based on our trust that our lawyer will do the best job for us that she can do or that she will tell us to get another lawyer.
    So next time someone starts complaining that some lawyer or another should never have defended or represented a person or other entity, they should stop and be grateful that we have a system that works that way.  Any one of us may need a lawyer one day to back us up when everyone else turns away.

    morality is irrelevant (none / 0) (#215)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 05:36:26 AM EST
    to issues of guilt or innocence.

    Are we going to have another (none / 0) (#53)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:54:47 AM EST
    Richardson hearing to see if when the Vietnam vet listened to the tape Saturday and called O'Mara, that he needed to notify BDLR before the testimony today?

    Or is that probably what they discussed at the sidebar and since it wasn't an expert like Dr. Bao, it's not the same issue?

    FL criminal procedure requires (none / 0) (#140)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:28:46 PM EST
    both the prosecutor and the defense to provide notice to the judge and opposing counsel.

    Yep, in the Richardson Hearing after (none / 0) (#151)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:53:52 PM EST
    jury was dismissed, she ruled it wasn't material and the prosecution wouldn't have done anything differently had they known Saturday. So his testimony stands.

    I could see that if this is the only time he has (none / 0) (#87)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:43:25 PM EST
    carried his gun.

    Maybe having his stupid gun gave him more balls.

    If he had his gun on him during his other NEN calls, then your scenario does not work.

    Btw, my feelings about guns mirror yours completely. I am trying to put those feelings aside and be as objective as possible about this case. But, it is a bit of a struggle.

    Double plus hard... (none / 0) (#115)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:17:38 PM EST
    to stay objective for me, as you can imagine.  That's strictly the moral end, I think the legal end is clear...acquittal is in order, always err on the side of the accused, as our system demands.

    LoL, I know! I have been reading but (none / 0) (#121)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:38:21 PM EST
    Double plus hard to stay objective for me, as you can imagine.

    doing my very best not to wade into this mess. Still don't know why I broke my self-imposed silence on the matter.
    I am going back to lurking.

    P.S.- If you really want to get your blood boiling, read this.


    Do you (none / 0) (#105)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:03:33 PM EST
    feel lucky?  That's stupid.  Any non-cop who draws had better be ready to shoot, or he shouldn't draw.  

    Yeah, it is stupid.... (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by magster on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:08:00 PM EST
    and now TM is dead.

    Judge allowing tox results in (none / 0) (#127)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:00:56 PM EST

    Jerlayn (none / 0) (#128)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:02:50 PM EST
    Andrew Branca (liveblogging for Legal Insurrection) just gave you a tweet shout out:

    Andrew Branca, LOSD @LawSelfDefense
    #zimmermantrial Jeralyn has good  stuff on this evidentiary issue: http://is.gd/cYDdOp   http://lawofselfdefense.com

    I didn't understand or agree with calling (none / 0) (#138)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:27:55 PM EST
    Tracy Martin. I think he came off as very nice and respectful. I don't believe, though, that the two officers lied or mischaracterized.

    After court ended, we found out why they called him. The judge incorrectly allowed the officers to testify as to what Tracy said. She made them choose, call Tracy, or the testimony is stricken.

    To lawyers: why did the judge allow hearsay to begin with?

    Was there an objection? (none / 0) (#142)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:31:10 PM EST
    $64,000 question (none / 0) (#148)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:49:59 PM EST
    Not objecting enough....

    O'Mara asking if Tracy Martin instructed his lawyer to make comments....violates the attorney client-privilege, but no objection.


    I'm thinking, were I a juror, I'd want to hear (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:53:33 PM EST
    defendant scream in court from the witness chair.

    Hmmm..... (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by magster on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:59:06 PM EST
    If the voice fit, you must acquit.

    But you love Opera, no? (5.00 / 3) (#172)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:28:05 PM EST
    Talent Scout (none / 0) (#174)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:32:31 PM EST
    Hoping to deliver and get free season tickets at the Met with all expenses paid.

    Would it be the same (none / 0) (#154)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:11:07 PM EST
    As the same person screaming in fear?

    No. But I'd want to see if he could match what's (none / 0) (#157)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:23:06 PM EST
    on that 911 call.

    FBI expert said it's impossible to (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:41:57 PM EST
    recreate the fear in that type of scream.

    I think so, oculus (none / 0) (#149)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:52:09 PM EST
    Then they had a long meeting with the judge and then the 2nd next witness was Tracy.

    The judge messed up, huh? Isn't that kind of basic?


    Who said it was a mistake? (none / 0) (#147)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:43:46 PM EST
    The two officers had already testified and were being recalled.

    Mistake as to?? (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:12:16 PM EST
    I thought they'd gotten in Tracy saying that's not Trayvon by way of the two officers and that way avoided calling Tracy who might make the jury feel bad. I'm sure they did feel for him.

    It would have ended there, but the judge allowed hearsay, listening to the after court hearings. She said the issue of the officers' testimony was taken care of since Tracy Martin was called. I think she said something like "their testimony stands". Or maybe I dreamed that, but she did say it would stay in.


    I wasn't watching (none / 0) (#156)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:19:43 PM EST
    (Just watching live blogging from defense attorneys and TV news crew).  No one mentioned it being a problem.

    I would think (and I could be corrected by the criminal defense attorneys around here) that recalling the officers built a foundation for the question and then they called Tracy Martin.  Maybe it had to be a package deal (can it be a statement against interest exception to hearsay in this case?)  But the fact that Tracy Martin appears to contradict his ex-wife and said in front of two police officers that it was not his son's screams, and never called them back to say he was mistaken, speaks volumes to a jury I think.  He tried to downplay it, and soften the blow (and no, I'm not accusing him of lying), but I thought that was a powerful line of questioning for the defense.


    jb, now I read a Florida lawyer (none / 0) (#159)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:38:13 PM EST
    say that what he told the officers is direct testimony, not hearsay. They weren't testifying as to the truth of what Tracy said, but just what he said.

    I thought it wasn't hearsay to say what someone said directly to you, as long as that's all you testify about.

    So who's right? This FL lawyer, or the analyst on Channel 9 who was having a cow saying it's hearsay. And then the judge said in court after jury was dismissed, the issue with the officers' testimony was taken care of by calling Tracy Martin.

    So now I'm really confused.


    here's a pretty good post (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:02:39 PM EST
    The Hearsay Rule and its exceptions (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:30:41 PM EST
    are a bottomless pit.....

    There really is no principle (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:37:38 PM EST
    at work here....just custom and folklore.

    Ask a witness who his father is, and it may or may not be hearsay.  If it is paternity case, definitely hearsay for the witness to say my Mama told me who my Daddy was....


    They must be, MKS (none / 0) (#178)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:43:44 PM EST
    It makes it nearly impossible for a lay person like me to understand. I think I do know what "excited utterances" are!

    If you think about it too long (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:59:00 PM EST
    or too closely, you will go insane.  

    I want to know, too! (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by DebFrmHell on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:30:52 PM EST
    The way you have it is the way I always understood it to be.  I thought it was only hearsay if a third party relayed what was told to him by another.

    Would love to see the answer.  It has been bugging me for a few days but I was afraid to ask.


    Crump (none / 0) (#190)
    by friendofinnocence on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:48:19 PM EST
    Because she was there for Crump's deposition?

    I would agree in this specific case (none / 0) (#145)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:34:36 PM EST
    if the word student is replaced by, say, "person who has demonstrated specific and unusual interest in police practices and procedures" and the rest of what you state.

    That is, his status as a student enrolled in a class does not persuade me as evidence that he knew of the law.  I know too much about what students do and do not know from what is said in a class.

    And that's all that this is about, whether the evidence presented was persuasive.  Perhaps to non-teachers -- but, as I also have said, I wonder whether a jury of six women in summertime might include one or more teachers.  Why?  

    Because I also know that the field of teaching is extremely feminized, and I also know that jury pools in summertime are likelier to have more teachers than during the school year.

    Come on Jondee (none / 0) (#194)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:20:10 PM EST
    nothing to say now?  

    Sadly, neither are most comments, (none / 0) (#201)
    by Leopold on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:39:52 PM EST
    including yours.

    That wasn't a word game though.  The distinction between evidence (the type of observation-based evidence that kdog and others here are appealing to) and "evidence" (the legal term used for someone's unsubstantiated statement introduced in the courtroom that some here are using) seems to be a major cause of the debate on this thread. Right or wrong, that is the crux of this comment thread.  

    Oh Teresa Teresa.

    M- You (none / 0) (#203)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:41:32 PM EST
    got a problem with me?  Z- No, I don't have a problem with you.

    I have just cleaned this thread (none / 0) (#210)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:32:25 PM EST
    of comments that misstated the evidence presented at trial and portrayed them as facts, and which attacked the character of either Zimmerman or Martin.

    Unfortunately, since I didn't get to this thread until more than 200 comments were posted, which is when the threads automatically close, I couldn't respond to individual comments or state why it was deleted.

    Please keep in mind that the case is in the trial phase. What matters to this site is whether the state has proven its case, not whether either one's actions were good or bad or moral or immoral.

    We have laws in this country, and if you believe they should not apply in this case, you are on the wrong site. If you don't like the law, work to change it.

    There is a new thread open to continue the discussion.

    I have also deleted the ratings of commenters who inappropriately rate a comment they disagree with as a "1." A "1" is for pointing out spam, trolls and those who violate the comment rules or whose comments are too unintelligible to understand. If you strongly disagree with a comment, a 2 is the lowest you should rate. I cannot delete individual ratings, I can only delete every rating by a particular commenter.

    The "Beating" (none / 0) (#211)
    by jspurr01 on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 07:40:05 PM EST
    There's a lot of discussion here on the "beating".  To the person who put their head through the windshield with little injury - they call it safety glass for a reason.  There is no 'safety concrete'.  Another person apparently referred to lots of people who die of head injuries that aren't obvious ... those would be 'closed head' injuries which amount to shaking the brain inside the skull with the skull protected, or just shaken without impact.  George's skull was not protected and reportedly impacted the concrete.  George did not even require medical attention.  From personal experience, I can tell you that having your unprotected head beat even once on concrete causes great injury. If you watched the defense pretend to beat the dummy's head on the floor, the rhythm was about 1 'beat' every 2 seconds or so (pretend to do it and time it yourself).  Conservatively, a one minute beating like that would have been maybe 20 hits.  George should have been dead or very close to it.  Certainly not conscious enough to wield a gun, much less not require medical attention.  The Doubt runs both ways.  It's hardly incontrovertible.