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The Reporter Behind the Shellie Zimmerman Interview

Christi O'Connor, the reporter who conducted the ABC Shellie Zimmerman interview, does not work for ABC. She is a freelance investigative journalist.

She says she is writing a book about the trial. I don't recall her reporting on the case prior to now, and with the exception of a reference to her in a video clip on CNN the night on July 13, Lexis.com has no record of articles or media transcripts with her about the case.

She says her book will reveal new information that could have resulted in a different verdict. Here's what she is peddling: A story about a white Sanford police officer's alleged misconduct in tasering an African American male which she is self-publishing on her weblog. On her blog, she writes: [More...]

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Thursday Night George Zimmerman Thread

At BloggingHeads TV, Glenn Loury and Ann Althouse discuss whether George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin was the right case for to pick as emblematic of racial profiling and race relations. I've been reading Ann's view of the case for months at her blog, so her view is not surprising to me. (While our politics are different, we have similar views of the evidence and legal aspects of the case.)

But I think some people, particularly those who view themselves as liberal, will be surprised by Loury's view. (The clip above is a one minute capsule of his position.)

In addition to agreeing this wasn't the right case to use to highlight problems with racial profiling and racial injustice, he questions whether Zimmerman should have been charged at all and says he would welcome an investigation into whether the prosecution was politically motivated. [More...]

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Weekend George Zimmerman Thread

Looks like our recent George Zimmerman posts have maxed out at 200 comments, which is the limit. Here's a new thread.

Over at Slate, William Saletan breaks down the Juror B-29 interview pointing to ABC's phoney-baloney editing job, which appears to be designed to produce the maximum salacious effect. Three versions are here, here and here. [More...]

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Zimmerman Juror B-29 Speaks: Race Not an Issue

Juror B-29, the sole minority juror in the George Zimmerman trial, and her attorney flew to New York to be interviewed by Robin Roberts of ABC News.

ABC identified B-29 as Maddy and said she is Puerto Rican.... Maddy tells ABC that the case was never about race for her.

In fact, Maddy says she doesn't believe the case should have gone to trial. "I felt like this was a publicity stunt," she tells Roberts. "This whole court service thing to me was publicity."

In other reports of the interview, "Maddy" says she wanted to convict Zimmerman but the jury instructions didn't allow it, and she thinks he "got away with murder." [More....]

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Zimmerman: Good Samaritans and Racial Injustice

The Seminole County Sheriff's office today released a statement confirming that last Wednesday, four days after being acquitted of murder and manslaughter, George Zimmerman helped free a family of four from a rollover accident. [Added: Here are the 911 calls.]

After spotting the vehicle on the side of the road, George grabbed a fire extinguisher from inside his truck, thinking a fire might break out, and with another man, freed the trapped family before first responders arrived at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle identified Zimmerman as the man who pulled him to safety. Officers spoke with Zimmerman who then left the scene. [More...]

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Standing Up For the Constitution

The Constitution is not a rough draft. You don't get to edit or erase parts of it to delete rights for an unpopular or hated defendant.

The Bill of Rights was designed to protect the rights of the citizen accused from the awesome powers of the Government. It was not enacted to protect the rights of crime victims.

The presumption of innocence is a bedrock of our criminal justice system that applies to the person charged with a crime, not the victim of a crime.

Self-defense is an affirmative defense that may be raised by a defendant in court in response to a criminal charge. [More...]

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ACLU Reverses Course on DOJ Investigation of Zimmerman

There must have been some heated discussions going on behind the scenes at the ACLU for it to do a 180 degree u-turn on whether the Department of Justice should investigate George Zimmerman to determine whether a hate crime prosecution was appropriate. I'm not surprised, just relieved the organization came to its senses.

On July 14, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero issued a statement on behalf of the organization that was titled, "Honoring the Memory of the Trayvon Martin (Next Steps for Systemic Reforms.) It called on the DOJ to investigate whether George Zimmerman's committed a federal civil rights violation or a hate crime by shooting Trayvon Martin.

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Obama on Zimmerman: Part II

Update: George Zimmerman's lawyers respond to President Obama's remarks on race today.

TalkLeft just crashed from the number of people viewing the last thread at the same time. We've rebooted the server and closed that thread. You may continue the discussion of President Obama's remarks today on the George Zimmerman verdict and race (transcript here).

What I agree with:

The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury has spoken, that's how our system works.

Keep in mind that the trial is over and the evidence is of record. The public's opinion of the evidence is not the topic. Comments that misstate the evidence in the case, or speculate as to their personal theory of guilt that was not disproved to their satisfaction have no place here. [More...]

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Obama Addresses George Zimmerman Verdict

Here's the transcript of President Obama's remarks on the George Zimmerman verdict today.

Here's what I agree with:

The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury has spoken, that's how our system works.

The rest of his remarks, on the topic of race, would be welcome following an incident involving racial profiling by police. In case he hasn't noticed, the practice is rampant in New York City. They do not fit in the context of this case. [More...]

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Zimmerman: Alternate Juror E-54 Would Have Voted to Acquit

Alternate Juror No. E-54 would have voted to acquit George Zimmerman. He was interviewed by Fox News. Here is the video.

Juror E-54 says the non-emergency call was the best evidence for George Zimmerman. There was no evidence Zimmerman profiled Martin. There was no evidence of ill will.

Zimmerman's injuries were a significant factor in his conclusion GZ should be acquitted. [More...]

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Zimmerman: New Support for the Verdict

Former President Jimmy Carter:

JIMMY CARTER: "I think the jury made the right decision based in the evidence presented because the prosecution inadvertently set the standard so high that the jury had to be convinced that it was a deliberate act by Zimmerman and that he was not defending himself and so forth. It's not a moral question, it's a legal question and the American law requires that the jury listens to the evidence presented." (WXIA-TV)

Rachel Jeantel now says she thinks Trayvon threw the same punch. She also thinks, although there was no evidence presented to support it, that GZ tried to detain Martin.

Rachel now has a reason to extend her 15 minutes. A radio host has given her a full scholarship to college.

How many times is CNN going to replay juror B37's interview? Has anyone not heard it?

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DOJ Trolling for Anti-Zimmerman Tips

Panderfest: The Department of Justice is setting up a public email address for tips on George Zimmerman.

Amid pressure from the NAACP and several Democratic lawmakers to pursue Zimmerman, the department has set up a public email address asking for any tips or information regarding the case.

This is nothing but a Neighborhood Watch program gone wild. Report your suspicions and three-times removed gossip. It's just more pandering to private interests. [More....]

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Juror B-37: Part 2 of Anderson Cooper's Interview

Anderson Cooper's interview with Juror B-37 is airing now.

Some thoughts as I'm watching. Juror B-37 said it wouldn't have made any difference if GZ had testified. The result would have been the same. To me that furthers the argument the state miscalculated by introducing his police interviews, re-enactment, and particularly his Hannity interview.

A prosecutor legal analyst on the show just said the defense got the jurors to look into GZ's heart. Actually, it was prosecutor John Guy. In his rebuttal closing, Guy asked the jury to look into George Zimmerman's heart and find hate. He talked about the window into George Zimmerman's soul. He told them to use their "G-d given common sense." They followed his suggestions. Unfortunately for the state, in doing so, they rejected the conclusion he though they would make. Another big failure in their argument. [More...]

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Zimmerman: The State's Failure to Humanize Trayvon Martin

The mistakes of the prosecution in the George Zimmerman trial began with overcharging Zimmerman with second degree murder. But they went far beyond that. USA Today has a new article, Experts: Prosecutors Failed to Humanize Trayvon Martin.

While the state played the emotion card hard in closing, there was a disconnect and the jury wasn't swayed by it. Why? Because one thing the jury never got to hear was the story of who is Trayvon Martin? He was never personalized or humanized.

What many may not realize is that this was a strategic decision the state made, not an unintentional omission. The defense had let the prosecution know that once the state introduced evidence of Trayvon Martin's good character, the floodgates would open and it was ready with an avalanche of text messages, photos, videos, school records and more to fight back. While I have no intention of discussing the specifics of what the defense would have introduced to counter the state's character evidence, it's available for all to see at the Zimmerman legal case website. It's referred to in pleadings and court orders. Please do not include details in your comments, or they will be deleted. [More....]

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Zimmerman Juror B37: It Was Self Defense

The interview of George Zimmerman juror B-37 on Anderson Cooper last night was extraordinary for the detail the juror provided about the deliberations process.

Shorter version: Zimmerman acted in self-defense. He was credible. Race was not a factor -- the jurors never even discussed race. Martin attacked Zimmerman. 5 of the 6 jurors believed Zimmerman was screaming. The sixth wasn't sure, she thought it might be Martin. Zimmerman did not act from ill-will or hatred. If anything he was over-eager to help others, which is indicative of a good heart.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with this juror, and taking into consideration she is speaking only for herself as to why she voted to acquit, it is clear from her statements that the jury as whole unanimously agreed the state failed in this prosecution. Which makes Angela Corey's interview, aired on HLN last night, every more bizarre. [More...]

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