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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The prosecutors of George Zimmerman are taking a drubbing in the media, as well as in the courtroom.

Some of the criticism is well deserved. Lawyers for the state sat there as passively as the spectators, while their own witnesses defanged the case. The words “Objection, your honor!” seldom rang out as Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, roamed far and wide during cross-examination.

Based on the trajectory of last week’s testimony, it’s almost inconceivable that Zimmerman will be convicted of second-degree murder — a charge that should never have been filed in the first place.

The facts in the killing of Trayvon Martin pointed to manslaughter from the beginning, and even then prosecutors would have had their hands full. They might yet persuade the jury to find Zimmerman guilty of that lesser charge, but it will require a deft change of strategy.

What happened in Sanford on the night of Feb. 26, 2012, was destined to become politically combustible because of the circumstances — an unarmed black teenager shot dead by a neighborhood crime-watch patroller who’d decided that the youth was “up to no good” and began to follow him.

Martin was committing no crime. He was returning from a store to a townhouse where he was staying. The pursuit by Zimmerman was foolhardy and disastrous.

Still, police and local prosecutors initially chose not to press charges because they felt Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense was credible.

It was the tape of his first phone call to police, when a dispatcher advised him not to pursue Martin, that outraged so many people. Zimmerman can be heard noting Martin’s race and using an expletive referring to “punks.”

A special prosecutor, Angela Corey, was brought in to review the case. Six weeks later Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder. Whether or not this was a reaction to public pressure is speculative.

In any event, the murder charge was an overreach that raised expectations while reducing the chances for a conviction.

Typically in Florida, a second-degree murder case must have the elements of ill will or spite, a state of mind more easily proven in a fatal bar fight than a chance encounter. Zimmerman had never met Martin, so prosecutors were left to use Zimmerman’s words on the police call as evidence of a general antipathy, if not toward blacks then towards a class of what he perceived as neighborhood “punks.”

The shooting itself is being portrayed by the state as a willful act by Zimmerman. His version is that he was defending himself after Martin jumped him.

In reality what happened that night between the two was likely a chaotic burst of mutual fear and adrenaline.

  • sigrid28

    “Getting even is a biological necessity.” So says Thane Rosenbaum, a law professor at Fordham University, in his excellent article in The Chronicle Review, part of The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Eye for an Eye: The Case for Revenge” (April 4, 2013). Those who identify with the victim and his family, who literally crave justice for them, may not have been let down so much by the tepid case brought so far by the prosecution as by our system of jurisprudence itself, in which “over 95 percent of all cases are resolved with a negotiated plea–bargained down from what the wrongdoer rightfully deserved.” Rosenbaum argues that “plea bargains, with their bargain-basement rationales, epitomize the degree to which our legal system has too little respect for victims and even less regard for the moral imperative that justice must be done. . . . A justice system that recognized the duty it owed to victims would not rely so heavily on this method of resolution, which casually distorts the truth and trivializes the remedy.”

    Another problem Rosenbaum points out is a watering down of the legal system’s commitment to provide the victim with the means to achieve revenge through court proceedings: “What works best is when the legal system can serve as a safe environment in which victims can experience revenge vicariously, all in the context of justice being done on their behalf. What we have now in the United States achieves the very opposite. Victims have no role in trials until sentencing, if at all, and they largely serve the symbolic purpose of being witnesses to the crime rather than parties to the underlying action. Prosecutors are not their attorneys; they work for the state. Victims are the only interested parties without counsel. Prosecutors have little obligation to consult with them regarding plea bargains and trial strategies.” Sad to say, one of the reasons the prosecution seems relatively weak in the Trayvon Martin case is that its role in 95 percent of the cases it does take up (remember the Sanford police did not want to charge Zimmerman in the first place) usually does not involve mounting an elaborate defense and vigorously representing a victim. They would rather settle than win, or they would not become prosecutors. If they let the Martin family down, it will be as an expression of the way the entire legal system of this country lets families like the Martins down.

    • charleo1

      Great post. More informative, better written, and thought out than Hiaasen’s.
      I like Carl. But, I must be honest. Right? A short personal story. I was mugged a few years ago, in unincorporated Miami-Dade Country where I live. The two subjects were young, 15, and 16. African Americans. Armed with a pistol, members of a gang, and as criminals, incredibly inexperienced. I know this, because they were caught later that evening. This one kid had mumbled something almost under his breath, as he approached me on my way to my car. Like, “Give it up,” I couldn’t quite make it out. But, he had neglected to clearly show his victim, (me) his gun. Which ought to be taught on the first day of. How to commit street crimes, and influence people.
      First, make sure the dude sees the gun! There were two, both skinny, and smaller than me. And we wrestled around for maybe 30 seconds, as they try to get me off my feet. Well obviously, things weren’t going as they planned. And, I was left with part of one of the criminals in training’s t-shirt in my hand, as it ripped as he ran. I notified police. Where being professional investigators, they found part of the handle of the gun, that I had no idea
      they had, in the parking lot. They were able to match to the gun they found later that same evening, in the possession of these two young gangsters,
      to the pistol grip police had found at my crime scene. One still wearing the
      torn shirt. They had went on to hold up a pizza delivery guy. He was able to
      describe their vehicle, and the collar was complete. The police were every
      bit the professionals. With a nice touch of humanity. “We’re sorry this
      happened to you Sir.” It sounded sincere, and I took it as such. And thanked
      them. Thought that was that. The prosecutor, a nice younger woman, that
      had reminded me of my daughter when I gave her my deposition in the
      case. Called my office one afternoon, to say the boys attorneys were trying,
      because of their age, and lack of a prior record. To get their sentence of
      1 to 5 years years, commuted to a boot camp instead of adult prison. They
      said they were inclined to agree, as was the judge. But, said the deal must
      include my being okay with that. I appreciated the call. The gun, I never
      seen, was determined to be inoperable.

      • sigrid28

        I just wanted us all to get a snapshot of this great article, so well-written by Thane Rosenbaum. Between science deniers poisoning the well and Zimmerman’s friends bloviating on his behalf, to me this article came as a breath of fresh air.

    • Lorr

      I did not watch when Prosecution was cross examining Zimmerman friends who all said they recognized the voice as George Zimmerman. Did the prosecution ask each of them:
      1. Did they ever hear Zimmerman scream in pain or fear?
      2. Did they ever meet Trayvon Martin and have a conversation with him?
      3. Did they ever hear a recording of Trayvon Martin’s voice?
      If they answer no to those three questions, how can they than state with absolute certainty that it is Zimmerman’s voice not Martin’s.

      • sigrid28

        These questions came up but not each time, so as to cue the jury that something in that witness’s testimony was amiss. I thought it was very clever of the prosecution to have each of these friends of Zimmerman testify to his voice on the initial call to the non-emergency operator, in which he uses pejorative, racist terms to refer to Trayvon Martin. Some friends of Zimmerman wanted to pretend they could not hear or understand these comments. How happy the prosecution was to oblige, playing Zimmerman’s racist declarations over and over, louder and louder. The defense played a dirty trick on Trayvon Martin by introducing testimony that the prosecution had not been allowed to review. It was a big donor to the Zimmerman defense fund who had been a medic in Vietnam, and claimed, with great lacremonious display, that he recognized “George’s” voice because he knew what it sounded like when a friend cried for help. The prosecution sighed and initiated a Robertson hearing, because of not being made privy to this melodrama in advance. The judge allowed the defense to go ahead but reserved the right to bar this testimony at a later time. One thing jurors might have observed as George’s friends testified is that all gave the impression of lying on his behalf and all were white.

  • Change the picture…instead of being black Trevon is white; does Zimmerman pursue him?
    —-
    The aggressor here is Zimmerma. He actively chased Mr. Martin, while armed with a firearm, after being told NOT to do so by dispatch.
    —-
    If anyone has a ‘stand-your-ground’ defense it was Mr. Martin not Mr. Zimmerman.
    The Law is structured so one cannot start a fight then use deadly force to end it. Whatever the mental state of Mr. Zimmerman was at the time is not relavent, we cannot subscribe to the idea that post mortum the event we know what his mind was considering but…
    —-
    We have a dead person, at the hands of an aggressor. The charge escalated from Manslaughter to 2nd degree Homocide when he went after Mr. Martin after being told NOT to do so. He intentionally instigated the event. The results are his responsibility now.
    —-
    Justice will prevail.

    • idamag

      I hope you are right.

    • johninPCFL

      He was never told not to pursue. The expression used was “Sir, that’s not necessary”.

      • 9-1-1 operators are specifically told not to give orders. “We don’t need you to do that,” which is the actual quote, is as close to a direct order as an operator is likely to give.

      • idamag

        Either you don’t listen so well or are lying. The exact words were, “We don’t need you to do that. Don’t follow him.”

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Murder 2? Nope. Manslaughter? Maybe. Will he be found “responsible” in a Civil Suit? Yep.

  • GreginPottsville

    If both of Zimmerman’s parents were Hispanic, MSNBC wouldn’t even give it a blurb. This website would not even know the trial was going on. The lefty loons would be looking elsewhere to satisfy their cravings.

    • idamag

      In other words, you are saying that street murder is condoned by the right wing?

      • GreginPottsville

        No, in other words, what I am saying is, the leftists only care about murders in which skin colors aren’t the same.

        • Sand_Cat

          And morons don’t have the judgment to make any intelligent statement at all on any political subject.

          • GreginPottsville

            Then why do you continue to try?

          • Sand_Cat

            Since you obviously consider us all morons, why do you?

          • sigrid28

            Now we’re picking on the morons, God help us!

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          At least, as far as I know, NO ONE likes to see their kid getting killed for nothing other than walking through a neighborhood.

          And, RACE ain’t got a dam thing to do with it either. So, this is not a race issue and not a liberal issue.

          This is a PEOPLE ISSUE and nothing more than a kid that used his fist to fend off a stalker with a gun who tried to be a cop wannabe.

          However, this type of case highlights racial issues to a T.

          IF Zimmerman had killed a white guy, his ass would have been in prison long ago, perhaps on 1st degree premeditated murder charges. Premeditated means, he was carrying a deadly weapon with the “intent” of possibly killing someone and “deliberately” ignored 911s advice to not pursue Martin.

          But, because Martin was black, they didn’t even arrest him that night, which in with most states, is perfectly normal procedure. And, now the Prosecutor, I think, is deliberately fumbling the case against Zimmerman.

          The State of Florida could very easily convict Zimmerman on murder charges IF they really wanted to.

        • charleo1

          Well, thank you for reminding everyone what an
          unbelievably, unnecessary issue, this case has become
          to the Left/Right political divide. Of course the Right points
          out Zimmerman, from their point of view, had every Right
          to see the unfamiliar, Black kid in the hoodie cutting across
          “his,” neighborhood, as most likely one of, “them,” responsible for the wave of break-ins taking place. And, without the ability to self examine, how easily they slip into this, siege mentality, as it relates to the Black kid in what they consider, “their,” neighborhood. They are completely blind
          to how how easily recognizable and consistent is the, second nature of this behavior. For those with this condition, to see the Black President they also consider an interloper, cutting across, “their,” political backyard, to be suspect of all manner of ill intention. I submit, the evidence is, you gentlemen are incapacitated by a particular strain of Black paranoia syndrome. Common to Whites, in the former Old Confederacy regions of the Southern U.S. Symptoms can present themselves at any time. But are most prevalent when the subjects find they are unexpectedly in the presence of Black people they, or one of their clan has not personally hired to do manual labor. As you have found. Most African Americans, and Liberals are almost without sympathy to your condition. This undoubtedly accounts for your surly attitude toward them. Well, that, and your mental disease. But, I
          hope I have helped to bridge this great divide. By at least
          letting you know, there are people on the Left, that understand why you are, as you are.

          • GreginPottsville

            Dude, get a grip.

            “This undoubtedly accounts for their, harshly, judging your accounts of the events, where by interjecting your own accounts of events, for which there is no evidence.”

            What in the world are you talking about? Are you sure you are responding to my comment? I gave no accounts of any events. Nor did I absolve Zimmerman from anything. Why do liberals assume all the time? And I have no idea what the heck you are trying to “bridge”.

            Are you trying to impress some chick or something?

          • charleo1

            No, I was trying to make an excuse for what I would
            consider an embarrassing, and creepy statement. Duh, Leftists
            only care about murder in which skin colors aren’t the same.
            Sure, I am always trying to impress the ladies. But, I’m also
            trying to illuminate an illness that is causing your incoherent
            outbursts of complete claptrap. Like, in turrets syndrome, you
            can’t help yourself. It just blurts out. And people often
            wonder, what is the guy’s problem? Well, I’m telling you what it
            is! You’re welcome!

          • GreginPottsville

            I am not allowed to make an observation? To you, an observation you don’t like is like turrets? You are one sicko. Or just the typical blind liberal sheep.

          • sigrid28

            Now you pick on blind people–and sheep, for God’s sake–in trying to give liberals a ba-a-a-a-d name! If you insist on being so discriminatory about people with disabilities, just keep it to yourself.

          • GreginPottsville

            I am way ahead of you on that one. My wife is an advocate for those with disabilities. And she is more conservative than I. Liberals seem to be the one claiming or wishing disabilities on people all the time. Calling you a blind sheep is something I guess you just don’t understand.

          • charleo1

            Great for your wife. An advocate for those with disabilities,
            even more conservative than you. What’s she cheering
            about nowadays? The Conservatives closing clinics for
            those disabled living below the poverty line? Or, cutting
            housing subsidies for those disabled living below the poverty line? Maybe it’s, cutting the food assistance for those disabled, living below the poverty line? Wasn’t you the idiot bragging on the wonderful job Rick Perry had done in Texas? Number one in the number of uninsured children. And 49th in the number of children not completing high school. And 49th, in pay for public school teachers. Number one in the the country for the number of people working people, living below the poverty line. The second most environmentally polluted state in the country. But your the first jack off out of the box to
            proclaim how much smarter you are, by comparison. Why,
            my wife’s a Conservative advocate for the disabled! They’re
            a bunch of blind sheep. My wife’s an advocate for promoting
            peace, and understanding between the races. And, she’s
            a bigger Nazi skin head than I am. Idiot.

          • GreginPottsville

            I think you are confused. No, I was not bragging about Rick Perry. In fact, this is the first time I typed his name, probably ever. So I have no idea what in the world you are blabbering about there. Secondly, I have no idea of any conservatives closing clinics for disabled below the poverty line. No idea what you are talking about. I live in PA. My wife did help close down state hospitals which treated disabled people horribly and she did help relocate those people to the community where they could live much fuller lives, yet still have their needs taken care of. Maybe you are confusing closing an abusive gov’t institution and putting people in better situations with something else. I never claim to be smarter than anyone, so, another typical lie from a liberal. In fact, I always claim to be less intelligent than most, therefore, I try to learn as much as I can. So sir, you either hit the Pabst a bit hard today, or your mind is mangled from something else. I hope you get straightened out.

          • charleo1

            I assure you if I was drunk, I could still see very well what the fascist bastards are doing to the Country. And worse, to the people in it. I have no use for fascists, as you can tell. I can’t stand anything about them. And I take a great deal of satisfaction in the fact they can’t stand me. But the thing I find most intolerable about fascists, is after all the death, and destruction they caused in the world. And for all the fine young Americans still lying in graveyards all over Europe, and all over this Country, because of them. I can turn on my television and watch them strut around the halls of Congress, and State Houses, in my Country. That’s right. Mr. They’re back selling the same hate. They have their scapegoats, of course, they’re using in the same way. The same, God Damn authoritarian, control freaks. Using the same religious, and financial excuses to get their agenda backed with the power of the law. Think I’m a nut? Watch these State Houses..
            Their worried about voter fraud. And morality. Not jobs.
            Ask a German how Hitler was able to do it. They’ll tell you. Well, the economy was so bad. And they said the Jews owned everything, and were stealing the wealth of hard working Germans. And we seen them take the Jews. But we
            thought they were deporting them. We didn’t know about the camps. But, it was too late then. No one dared to oppose
            the Nazis. You know what would get a person picked up
            quicker in Nazi Germany that anything else? Being accused
            of being a Communist sympathizer. Heard a lot of that lately?
            A real mind mangler.

          • Sand_Cat

            She must think those with disabilites improve when they’re ignored or mistreated. Without her silent “advocacy,” more people might become diasbled to enjoy government benefits, since they’re bloodsuckers and takers all that only liberal bleeding hearts care about.

          • Allan Richardson

            The right wing probably also believes that diabetics are “addicted” to insulin injections, and that if we banned insulin as a medicine, all those diabetics would be forced by their “tough love” to start making their own insulin and kick the “habit.”

            The only thing keeping them from enacting such a law is that there are at least as many diabetic conservatives as diabetic liberals. Of course, if they DID pass such a law, they would also bribe the police to look the other way while they import their OWN stash of insulin!

          • sigrid28

            Let’s not bring people with the neurological condition known as Tourette Syndrome into this! I’m sick and tired of everybody on this comment threat who hates racism and xenophobia giving people who discriminate against the disabled a pass. Even if you don’t like someone, don’t say they are off their meds. If you needed meds to function, you wouldn’t find that comment very smart or pithy–and certainly not funny. OK to make fun of washed up academics though. (Sorry to be a little grouchy.) Please keep up the great posts!

          • larkinvonalt

            Sigrid, certainly some of the posts on these threads evidence the need for psychotropic amelioration for the parties who penned them. I’m not sure that makes those people “disabled,” we all have feet of clay.

          • sigrid28

            Whenever a school system wants to deny services to a child with special needs, they say acknowledging a child’s disability is embarrassing for the parents and the child. No kidding! Some of us want to counter with T-shirts for our kids that say, “I may not look like I have a lifelong disability, but I do.” If you ever had a neurological disability or psychiatric condition likely to need treatment throughout your life, you would see that those conditions are more than the “feet of clay” any of us might put on from time to time. Minimizing the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum or with Tourette Syndrome makes their lives immeasurably harder, and I am sure none of us who post on these comment threads want to do that. I think we need to stop using the term “retard” as well.

          • charleo1

            You’re right. Bad analogy. I’m really experiencing a loss of
            self control over Rick Perry. This despicable megalomaniac,
            leaves his State after his 13 year reign of terror, a basket
            case. That, make no mistake, will cost this Country dearly
            to clean up. But, he will let the Country know, all in good
            time, where he’ll gift the Nation again with his divinely
            inspired leadership in the future. And this moron, in Pottsville could hardly contain himself, and his giant brain. Bragging to
            the blind sheep, on the wonderful job Pastor Perry has done
            in Texas. I say then. To Hell with Jesus. Because we can’t serve two Gods, preaching conflicting philosophies.

          • idamag

            This lady thinks intelligence is a turn-on, so I think you are impressive.

          • charleo1

            Now, that’s what I’m talking about! Obviously, yours is the
            response that gets downloaded, printed out, put in a nice
            frame, and hung in my office in a very prominent place!
            Thanks! idamag!

        • docb

          If the dead child had been white ..GZim would be in jail today!

    • Sand_Cat

      Trust you to bring up the irrelevancies in your effort to absolve Zimmerman. We may not know exactly what he did that night, but we can make a good guess what YOU might have.

      • Elisabeth Gordon

        Jeez Sand Cat – Greginpotheadsville is back….there is no chance of ever having a reasonable discussion with his ilk, and we both know it…better to let him rot in his deluded hatred of everything and anything he deems below his exalted state.

        • GreginPottsville

          Sand Cat assumes or tells lies about what I wrote just as well as you do. That is your “ilk”.

      • GreginPottsville

        I never tried to absolve Zimmerman from anything. Re-read my comments slowly. Take your time. Stop assuming. I didn’t write much and I certainly didn’t try to absolve Zimmerman.

        • WhutHeSaid

          OK, I’ve just recovered from a fit of sobbing over your exaggerated dismay and wounded feelings.

          What they are trying to say a little less directly is that your statement is like raising a big flag that says MORON. To lump all of the people whom you consider ‘leftists’ (perhaps they are incapable of farting America The Beautiful like you) into such an asinine claim shows a much higher level of stupidity, generalization. and overarching assumption than anything they posted. So dry those crocodile tears and take your insults like a man. You earned them.

          • idamag

            As my brother used to say, “All generalities are lies.” He was a psychologist.

  • docb

    The media s doing no favors for the already skewed justice system in Florida. They have ALEC boilerplate ‘stand your ground’ laws and cops that do not do their jobs based on familiarity …who allow a body with a cell phone not to be identified for days . There are enough inconsistencies in the defendants testimony to drive a mack truck through still the defense is bringing in people who are literally monetarily invested in the shooter to be character witnesses . .

    There is no justice for the dead child or his parents when much is not allowed to be presented to the jury panel. ‘Mutual ‘ scuffle is a ruse when the armed defendant was stalking the kid when told he was not needed to do that. The Dead young man had a right to Stand his Ground as well. All your friends of another culture mean nothing when faced with a stranger you consider a punk and ‘asshole’!

    • charleo1

      Well, what other conclusion may one arrive at? If it is kept to it’s essential
      facts. Ah, but there is where the defense is determined to add a thousand
      meaningless side notes. After the facts. Before the facts. The friends of
      Travon Martin. The scofflaw at school of Travon Martin Had he cut class,
      Ladies, and Gentlemen of the jury!? The defense lost in their efforts to
      notify the jury, there was marijuana residual revealed in Travon Martin’s
      bodily fluids report in the autopsy. Where is Zimmerman’s test results?
      Remarkably, they don’t exist. And never will. Because, he was never
      tested. I just realized I took undue license. There are no men, on the jury.
      And, a distinction without a difference, perhaps. But Florida’s Stand your ground Law, was the first such law in the Country. And was introduced by
      the NRA.

      • docb

        I think we are in agreement on the facts of malfeasance by the local law enforcement and the attempts by defense to get character witnesses in to help GZ… The opposition from you I am not sure i understand, charl.

        • charleo1

          Only that I oppose the inherent unfairness of putting the
          victim, Travon Martin on trial. When the accounting for
          the actions that led to Travon’s death, should be the job
          the defense is held to. Otherwise, Zimmerman receives
          unfair advantage, by the success of the very crime for
          which he’s on trial. Defense motion one: You Honor, I
          move my client’s charges of homicide be dismissed.
          On the grounds of the only credible eye witness, the victim.
          Being unavailable, as it were, to testify aganist my client.

  • charleo1

    We may set all other factors aside, when it come to the parents of Travon Martin. Because, There are no complicating factors in their demands for justice. They’ve lost a son, in what they rightly see as a travesty. Involving an individual, that due to
    a number of reasons, all of them suspect, their child is dead. And, they have every reason to believe, prejudice was at the root of the suspicion, that drove Zimmerman’s actions. That ultimately resulted in the death of their son.
    And, perhaps the prosecution’s greatest strength, is that it was Zimmerman’s
    actions that instigated, and precipitated, and drove he events of that early
    evening. Aganist the admonitions of the 911,operator. His decision, legal
    or not, to introduce lethal force. That decision, like all the decisions of George Zimmerman made that evening, have been legally proven, to be his.
    Now, when we put them together, as they occurred, they resulted in Travon
    Martin losing his life. Without George Zimmerman, that doesn’t happen. Far too
    much, in my opinion has been made of what Travon Martin might have done.
    Some have said he must have doubled back, and attacked George Zimmerman.
    Actually, what we do know is Travon has been to the store. We see him on the
    security camera. And the items be bought, were found with his body. We can
    assume he was in route to his home. I’m a divorced Father. My kids always
    knew, be it ever so humble, my home, was their home. Regardless of custody arrangements. We know none of George Zimmerman’s suspicions were correct,
    regardless of where he got them. “But, they always get away!” he complained.
    And, the injustice! In the faulty thinking, that would lead to the unnecessary loss
    of this young man’s life. If he were an untrained, unlicensed, doctor wanna be,
    that insisted on operating immediately. How many questions would we have, as
    to George Zimmerman’s culpability?
    on operating on immediately

    • idamag

      I believe Trayvon believed he was about to be the victim of a racist, hence the “cracker” remark.

  • montanabill

    For those of you who care enough to look behind the curtain, it was clear that the local law enforcement people didn’t think there was enough for any charge. That decision was made by a state prosecutor, based only on racial pressure.

    • Sand_Cat

      Obviously you wouldn’t think there was enough for a charge if he’d gone to Martin’s home and shot him through the window, if you want to “look behind the curtain.” Spare us your “analysis.”

    • johninPCFL

      Based on Florida’s “Castle Keep” doctrine that deadly force can be used whenever a crime is witnessed, you are correct. All Zimmerman had to do was wait for Martin to break into a house, then shoot him for committing a crime.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    The STATE of Florida has a horrid record of racial discrimination.

    The Prosecutors Ploy may be giving Zimmerman a way out as a way of reinforcing age-old discriminatory practices in the state. This could be one reason why in the public eye, the prosecutor seems to have a weak case.

    The local police didn’t arrest Zimmerman that night too because, after all, people of color deserve to be stalked by a man who is a neighborhood-watch type guy.

    The one caveat about this entire case is that the local 911 operator told Zimmerman not to pursue Martin, which evidently he ignored. Zimmerman, regardless how one looks at it, is the responsible party since he not only ignored 911s advice but was carrying a weapon of overwhelming deadly force, which he used to kill Martin.

    In most self defense cases, just because someone is beating the tar out of you, that doesn’t give you the right to shoot the assailant with a weapon. There must be shown that your life was being threatened with impending death. Fists do not equal a handgun legally and does not represent a life-threatening situation.

    Evidently Zimmerman was a coward or a weak man physically. Imagine, a 17 year old thin man beating the tar out of a full grown adult man.

    If Zimmerman isn’t at least found guilty of Manslaughter, Florida will be a tinder box and rightfully so.

    • johninPCFL

      In FL a fear of bodily harm is all that’s required to use a gun in self defense. “Someone beating the tar out of you” is all that’s necessary to use deadly force.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        And, it’s dead wrong, as Martin is dead..

        But, if that’s the case, a kid 13 or so, comes up to you and threatens you, you take that as a threat to your life, that means you can literally kill the person. Just because someone is threatening you does not mean you can use deadly force. Evidently, in Florida it is legal.

        In most states, a valid excuse is IF the attacking person is using equal or greater force than you are using to threaten to kill you. Then and only then, can you use deadly force. And, when you do, you better have some serious injuries, other than getting the snot kicked out of you.

        In this law, then, Martin would be in the legal right to defend himself by using deadly force because Zimmerman had a gun.

        I wonder what the law would determine IF Zimmerman had only shot and injured Martin, then, Martin fights Zimmerman and kills him with his fists. Would the court have exonerated Martin?

        Ohio has the Castle Law. That means if anyone is invading your home, you have the right to shoot them dead in the house. But, the invading person MUST have a weapon on them; gun, knife, baseball bat, etc. that shows they were going to use deadly force against you. The knife, gun or baseball bat is the Clear and Present Danger part of the law.

        If you shoot them when they are on the way out, outside, and you are not injured, your ass is grass. What would happen if you are injured and they leave the home and you shoot them. I don’t know what that would mean to a court.

        • CPAinNewYork

          Kollmorgen:

          So, what would you do in that situation? Let’s add that the thirteen-year-old kid is standing two feet in front of you.

          Tell us. What exactly would you do? Hand the bastard your money? Run away? Grab him and beat the hell out of him? “Reason” with him? Foul your pants? Yell for help? What? What?

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            First off, I wouldn’t have found myself in that situation. As an adult, I learned to be extremely “street wise”.

            I follow the saying: look for trouble, you’re more than likely going to find it.

            Zimmerman was as far as I’m concerned totally out of his comfort zone and had no business messing with the kid.

            Yea, I know the court found him not guilty. But, you can bet, this is far from over.

          • CPAinNewYork

            Kollmorgen:

            That’s no answer. That’s a copout. What would you have done in the situation that I described? Don’t give us a lot of crap about your not being in such a situation.

            Know what I think? I think that you don’t have an answer, and when you don’t have an answer, you blow smoke.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            If Martin HAD attacked me, I would have fought him with my fist to protect myself.

            What would normal people do in this situation? There are NO simple answers for this situation and no one will ever totally please anyone with one.

            If Martin had attacked he was wrong. If Zimmerman used his gun to protect himself from a set of fists, that was wrong. 2 wrongs don’t make 1 right.

    • lana ward

      If Martin had kept walking home when Zimmerman lost track of him instead of coming back and attacking him, he would still be alive

      • Lorr

        lana I thought you were ‘pro life’ – or are you just ‘pro life’ until the birth? Your argument works both ways if Zimmerman had stayed in his truck than an unarmed teenager would not be dead. By the way, Zimmerman testified his concealed weapon was at the small of his back, if he is lying on his back and Martin is on top of him and pinning down his arms so he could not fight back – How did Zimmerman get his gun out of the holster that he was lying on?

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          I’m not saying people don’t, but normally, if you have a CC Permit, most people don’t carry their weapons in the small of their backs. They usually carry them side holstered.

          • Lorr

            I must have misunderstood, I thought in the one video where Zimmerman was walking and showing what he states happened, he pointed to an area where is gun was and it appeared more towards the back rather than on his side.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            You could be right. I don’t remember the video to be honest.

            What I’m saying however, is that it’s not normal to carry a weapon in the small of your back. I would think too, having a weapon in the small of your back, that would make it very uncomfortable to sit in a car for a long time.

            Most people I know proudly carry their weapons on their sides. Sort of a Ego Booster, hehe.

          • Lorr

            You are right – my husband said the same thing, he and people he knows with CC Permit, carry it more towards the side making it easier to access.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Given this opinion and knowing what we already do, WHY would he carry in the small of his back?

            Why would he try to “hide” a legally CC Permitted weapon IF in fact this is where he was carrying it?

            Something about this, I think, STINKS………….

          • Lorr

            I agree – my husband hides his, but where he can reach it if he needs it. Also my husband does not carry his to the store, movies, etc. He carries to and from work or if we travel within our state.
            As you can probably tell I am not a gun person.

          • DEFENDER88

            Both sides agree GZ was carring weapon on his right side.
            It could have slid toward the back some I suppose in a fight.
            As for *small of back carry* – it is fairly common. Especially for slender women who cannot easily conceal a weapon with side carry. Also some medics who need access to their R side for other items. It is pretty much a personal preference thing.
            Most people I know prefer to carry *concealed* – causes less upset, commotion and hassle. Also dont want to present a target to bad guys. Also dont want to cause alarm with police.
            Some states allow for *open* carry, some do not.

          • CPAinNewYork

            What really stinks is you.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Thanks for the Compliment:)

          • CPAinNewYork

            What do you know about the “normal” way to carry a weapon? You’re just another self-styled “expert” frantically searching for ways to convict Zimmerman.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Personally, to you or anyone else.

            Zimmerman got away with MURDER the same way OJ got away with it, a court system that didn’t use it’s full power to convict, and dam good defense lawyers.

            Basically Zimmerman paid his way out of prison using NRA sponsored funds. And, you know dam well, the NRA was going to fund his defense to the hilt if necessary.

            If I had my ultimate way, the ONLY people who would be carrying guns would be the police, PERIOD.

            Zimmerman, as much as most of the group of people who possess CCWs, are self-styled Vigilantist or scared little people who are afraid of their own shadows – born and bred cowards right to be bone.

            There should be one exception and that is ONLY if you carry money in the course of conducting business.

            CCWs are way too easy to obtain. The bar to qualify to have a CCW should be set way higher than they are now. And, IF that were to happen, over half the people who now quality would be banned from getting it.

            And, it should be a Federal Procedure to get one, not state by state.

          • CPAinNewYork

            Kollmorgen:

            You’re just another flaming liberal who “convicted” Zimmerman even before the trial began.

            Your next step should be to join the ghetto rioters who’ll start trouble in major cities. Those are your soulmates.

        • lana ward

          The gun was on his side. He got it out when Martin was beating his head into the sidewalk. If Martin had kept heading home when Zimmerman lost track of him instead of coming back and attacking him, he would still be alive

          • Lorr

            Zimmerman’s video statement to investigators when he was walking them through what he said happened, he placed his hand where he had his gun and it was not on his side. Medical evidence shows Zimmerman was injured, but not seriously and did not reflect his head being beaten into the sidewalk. Zimmerman was the adult, he should have stayed in his truck and allowed the police to do their job.

          • lana ward

            Martin had no business being where he was. If he had kept heading home instead of turning back and attacking Zimmerman, he would still be alive

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I will support Zimmerman in only one way. IF Martin HAD turned back and attacked him, Zimmerman then had the right to protect himself on equal ground and only with his fist.

            Since Zimmerman had a gun, he was the more responsible party to control himself and know exactly what he was getting himself into.

            But, somehow I just can’t believe Martin DID turn back and attacked Zimmerman. We’ll never really know for a fact IF that actually happened. And, since Martin is dead, no one will ever learn his side of the story.

            One fact can not be disputed, Zimmerman instigated this entire mess by getting out of his vehicle which 911 advised against doing.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        I don’t remember IF Martin “came back” to attack Zimmerman.

        But, if Martin did, well, then Zimmerman did have the right to protect himself.

        I doubt this actually happened. This might be an “excuse” Zimmerman used to justify pulling his gun. Since Martin isn’t alive to either discount or agree with Zimmerman’s claim, this issue is mute.

        • lana ward

          I saw on another site, they think Martins hood girlfriend encouraged him to go back and attack Zimmerman and Martin did so to prove to her he was a man

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            What they “think” happened won’t matter. What will matter is the facts of the case, where ever they may fall. Of course, it’s not unusual for circumstantial evidence to get or not get a conviction either.

            The facts of the case is that Zimmerman had a gun. Martin only had his fists. Zimmerman was told by 911 basically that the persuit wasn’t necessary. Zimmerman shot Martin. Martin is dead. Nothing else actually needs to be known in a real court.

            With these facts, IF the State of Florida actually wanted to convict Zimmerman, they could. I think the Prosecutor is fumbling the case on purpose.

  • mvres

    What a horrific article.

    The state of Florida certainly did not aim too high. This man wouldn’t even have been arrested if not for public outcry. The fact of the matter is that Zimmerman stalked and killed an unarmed teen who was doing nothing more than walking home. If anything, the state aimed too low. Since when is hunting down another human being and murdering that individual a confusing issue? Because the child wore a hoodie? Because the child wasn’t white?

    Anyone who thinks this trial is not being watched very carefully to see whether this jury is going to declare open hunting season on African American youth — isn’t paying attention.

  • Elisabeth Gordon

    All we can hope for regarding justice being served for Trayvon, is that this jury is smarter than the twelve pinheads from Pinellas County that let Casey Anthony get away with the First Degree Murder of her child…

  • holyreality

    The DA aimed high to shoot low, as in going through the motions with no intent on convicting Zimmerman.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      That is EXACTLY what the Prosecutor’s intend is.

      The State of Florida, as I said previously, could convict him very easily IF they really wanted to.

      In most crimes where a gun is used, you’re going to jail. But, the local police and the Prosecutor has done such a good job of muddying up the water so to speak, the state will be lucky if they can make a Manslaughter Charge stick.

      If Martin was a white guy, Zimmerman would have a butt-buddy by now in prison.

      • GreginPottsville

        Just like OJ in 1994. Oh wait, didn’t work that way.

  • larkinvonalt

    Wonder what will happen to George Zimmerman if he does get off . . . “Justice” comes in many guises.

    • GreginPottsville

      A liberal wishing ill will on someone. What a surprise.

      • larkinvonalt

        Your reading comprehension could use some work, Greg.

        • GreginPottsville

          I comprehend liberals just fine. Your hopes are if a jury finds Zimmerman innocent, then you hope he gets punished somehow, because after all, you are much smarter than a jury.

          • gmccpa

            Your comprehension has a short memory.. A good part of the country..including MANY conservatives…thought OJ Simpson was guilty. In fact, Mark Fuhrman is a conservative darling.

          • GreginPottsville

            Are you happy OJ is in jail now? Does that make you feel good? After all, he did commit at least one crime. Do you take joy he is in the klink? Or are you only concentrating on Zimmerman now?

          • larkinvonalt

            I said no such thing. I just wonder what will happen to him if he is found not guilty. If I were Zimmerman, I would certainly be concerned. You certainly assume a lot, most of it incorrect. Hope you get your meds sorted out.

          • GreginPottsville

            Typical liberal response. You get busted, you try to somehow attack the buster as having some mental condition. Really compassionate. So, let’s give you the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say hypothetically you are really, really concerned about Zimmerman should he be acquitted. Do you want the chance to say you genuinely hope he is going to be safe and fine if he is acquitted? Or did you really mean what my original interpretation was? You either wish him harm or good by your statement. My guess is harm, but I will give you a chance to say you wish peace, goodwill and safety to Zimmerman should he be acquitted. After all, that is what being open-minded and compassionate is all about, right?

          • larkinvonalt

            You didn’t “bust” anyone, you pompous little bore.

          • CPAinNewYork

            In a sense, he did bust. you.

          • Dosbilliam

            Assuming exactly no one is going to attempt some vigilante justice is foolish. It appears that like most people, you cannot see the difference between acknowledging that there’s a good chance he’s going to get dead by someone pissed off about the verdict and assuming that person is pulling for that outcome. Regardless of the verdict, a black kid is dead, and chances are the person who killed him will be killed as well in revenge. I don’t like it, but I know there’s a good chance it’s going to happen.

          • Liberals=free people, no racism
            Conservatives=White people, nothing but racism.
            Ever notice how the division between Libs & CONS is very much along the same lines as blacks vs whites?
            It’s just another way for people to vent frustration at imagined enemies.
            YOU, the American worker (or non-worker as it seems these days) are your own worse enemy.
            You listen to hate radio then parrot the lunacy when in reality it’s the worst thing for you & only makes your masters richer.

      • Dosbilliam

        That’s actually assuming a lot, isn’t it? Politics doesn’t really enter into this unless it’s forced into it.

        • GreginPottsville

          What planet are you on? This entire case came about because of political pressure from the left! If you can’t see that, you are truly a blind liberal sheep. For goodness sake, he wasn’t charged for 44 days. The POLITICAL pressure led to charges. It was ALL about politics.

          • Dosbilliam

            Or, you know, it could just be a desire for justice? Sounds like someone’s been paying attention to one too many conspiracy theories…
            If you can prove it’s about the politics, I’ll admit I’m wrong, assuming you can find a legit source or 3.

    • John Knoefler

      So does payback. Try to keep that in mind.

    • CPAinNewYork

      That sounds like you’re advocating vigilante justice.

  • bcarreiro

    George, i signed the petition to indict you …………people in this state get life and a day for circumstantial evidence and you who is and will always be a killer will get a free pass. george you may have some pull in the florida system but you wont escape carma. Its a btich and so is your weak ass when judgement day comes.

  • marelbert

    George Zimmerman was a bully with a gun, following Trayvon Martin after being told “That was not necessary” I question who was afraid, Martin with a soda and cheerios or Zimmerman with a gun?

  • Allan Richardson

    I have a suspicion that the actions of the police in NOT arresting Zimmerman and getting thorough evidence that night, and NOT looking for evidence on Martin’s body with proper protocols, reflect NO INTENTION to prosecute someone who was the “buddy” of the police department for killing one of “them.”

    When political pressure finally forced them to prosecute, knowing that the most persuasive evidence had been pre-emptively destroyed immediately after the murder, and not REALLY wanting to prosecute a “community watch leader” for killing a “thug,” the state deliberately overcharged and underprosecuted, knowing that he will probably get off. This is the same way Klan murderers went free in the old days, but they had to be more subtle in today’s political environment.

    • GreginPottsville

      Wow, and I bet you believe the Mafia, Castro, AND LBJ conspired to kill Kennedy!

    • CPAinNewYork

      Richardson, aka flaming liberal: What effect do you think the break ins by black men in that gated community had on Zimmerman’s frame of mind?

      • papasan173

        Were they caught and convicted? NO!!! So how do you know they were black men? Because it’s always “them”? You must be a typical Racist Conservative.

        • CPAinNewYork

          Don’t you read the newspapers, or listen to the news on radio or watch it on television? Those sources carried the stories of break-ins by blacks in that gated community. Are you now accusing those news sources of being “… typical Racist Conservative(s).’?

          You are a typical liberal traitor, who wants to give the country away to the blacks and other minorities.

          • papasan173

            Actually I am a Christian that doesn’t like to see any of God’s children persecuted because of their color. Their color affected Zimmerman’s state of mind. He was going to teach “them” a lesson. Why did he call 911 if he wasn’t going to listen to their advice? Because he was going to shoot this black guy, regardless what the police said. You can’t claim self-defense when you are the one armed, and you are the one chasing the other guy down to confront him. Six women from a known racist town can’t give an impartial verdict.

            As far as being a Liberal, Christ would have been considered a Liberal, in his day. He was not content to let the people live the lies that their leaders were telling them, instead choosing to tell them of a different, and better, way to live. “Love one another as you love yourself.” “Love God, serve others” and don’t dwell on selfishness and self-centeredness. God created all men and women to be equal. When you start being racist you are just showing your fear of others and your own insecurity about your life as a failure.

          • CPAinNewYork

            You and your ilk have no interest in judicial processes. Despite your mealy mouthed references to Christianity and love, it’s obvious to me that you are bent on revenge and reject any verdict that doesn’t satisfy your bloodlust.

  • Landsende

    George Zimmerman has been caught in lie after lie. He never heard of the stand your ground law even though he studied it in class. He had no money to pay his legal bills while hiding money donated to him. Trayvon jumped out of the bushes when there were no bushes. If he had listened to the dispatcher when he said “are you following him”, “we don’t need you to do that”, Trayvon would be alive and Zimmerman wouldn’t be on trial. As for the tape of the screams if even the FBI couldn’t determine who it was how can all the friends of George’s that testified it was him know more than the experts that said it was impossible to tell if it was Trayvon or Zimmerman? So many lives ruined because of a wannabe cop not listening to the 911 dispatcher.

  • Catskinner

    It’s a pretty well defined case of self defense. Obviously no charges should have been brought.

    • WhutHeSaid

      Why is it that all of the same drooling bigots who constantly try to attack Obama also support the killing of an unarmed 17 year old boy? What could possibly be the common thread here, hmm?

      • Catskinner

        Can’t speak for drooling idiots, or the support of killing an unarmed boy, or why Obama’s handlers advised him to injected himself into the case in the first place, but the court simply needs to follow the law.

  • MollyBee64

    Keep in mind that Trayvon Martin is not able to testify that HE “was afraid for his life”. What a travesty this trial has become! When did it become an issue of whether or not there was a fight? Of course there was a fight. George Zimmerman stalked and harrassed….proven by police tapes. If he is found innocent, how many others will arm themselves and go out hunting for ‘suspicious looking suspects’? You don’t have to be white, black or any other color to realize this is wrong. Zimmerman is guilty of stalking, profiling and killing a teenager. I hope the jury sees the injustiice of this.