“Ok, We don’t need you to do that” A tale of Morality; Zimmerman Case

On Feb 26th a young man died, and another is set to be tried for this act. I have discuss the legalities of the case on several different posts.  For this post I will attempt to look at the incident and the people involved from the Moral point of view. So lets attempt to define “morals”.  Morals are seen as “morality is a complex structure to maintain social cohesion and enhance survivability among social creatures(1)”  in order words, morals are the beliefs that guide us within our society. Those beliefs that guide our conduct come from typically from religious beliefs and teachings or for the secularists from natural law or a combination of both. Thomas Jefferson used both when writing:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”(2)

I want to be clear in that I am not talking about Ethics here as they are often seen as synonymous but, morals are beliefs based on practices or teachings regarding how people conduct themselves in personal relationships and in society, while ethics refers to a set or system of principles, or a philosophy or theory behind them.  A person can have no morals but behave ethically, just as a moral person will or can break laws if it conflicts with its morals.

“Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.” –Mark Twain

Now that I have confused you, lets begin.  Where did George Zimmerman derived his morals from? In trying to determine that we need to look at his background, his family, and most importantly his past actions. We know he was raised in the Catholic church, his father was in the military and later a Magistrate.  This is a good way to start, and see if he was affected by his surroundings in trying to determine his morals.  We have found out that GZ was interested in justice, and combating injustice (Sherman Ware is an example).  GZ was known as “tugboat” as a friend described it, he was always there to pull you out of the shoals.  This led to his arrest in 2005, when he responded after a friend was man-handled by undercover alcohol enforcement agents and he attempted to aid his friend and got arrested as a result. From a moral point of view it appears that GZ had high morals, and had acted in a manner keeping of those morals.

“So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”
― Ernest HemingwayDeath in the Afternoon

As we did with GZ let’s examine Trayvon Martin and what his morals were.  Unfortunately, due to his early demise, it will be unfair to render a complete judgement as the information about him is scant.  The family has not been very honest in its depiction of TM, and the information that has come to light is not very encouraging.   Here is some of what we know; his family was complex, his mother had an older brother from a different father.  TM’s father has been married several times, had several baby mammas and at the time of the incident was breaking up with his wife, and TM was staying temporarily at his father’s new girlfriend condo, hours away from where he had been living. Based on his social networks and comments by family members, TM’s morality came from emulating the Urban Thug lifestyle.  The morals of the Urban Thug are more primal, survivor of the fittest, strength of body, sexual conquests, self-medication, attainment of goods without regard, lack of regard for others (outside your family, and your pack).  All these things paint a very unflattering picture, but did they play a role in the incident or the events leading up to it?

“Compassion is the basis of morality.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer

Based on the two comparisons you would be tempted to say that GZ was acting morally, as he morals was his driving force and he acted morally according to his distaste for lawlessness and in an effort to protect those that lived in his community.  Perhaps, but if we look at the morals that TM ascribed too,  he too was acting within his morals.   GZ had disrespected him, by watching and then snitching on him to the police,  and “No limit N**gah”  is no punk ass b*tch.  This is not a  comment on the morality of GZ or TM just trying to see if they acted within their own  morality.

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners” ― Laurence Sterne

On that night GZ saw someone who his own morality led him to believe was suspicious, he did not see color, he saw someone who he wanted to protect his community from.  From experience he saw what appeared to be another punk asshole, the kind that always get away,  but because of his morality and because he did not see the punk commit a crime he calls the non-emergency number.  I often wondered why he did not call 911 and report a prowler, the response would have much quicker, I think his morality prevented him from embellishing the facts and to report only what he knew,  there had been many burglaries, the burglars had used this shortcut to access the community, TM was walking aimlessly in the rain, looking at homes.

As he drove past him and parked by the Clubhouse and was talking to the NEN dispatcher, as TM came to check him out his moral indignation shows as he says; ” these assholes they always get away” but notice that he does not get out of the truck and try to apprehend, he was again apprehensive, attentive of TM but calm.  He continues the conversation and tries to give directions to where he was, unsuccessfully, it is at this time that TM skips. runs away.  Now he has lost contact, at this time Sean the NEN dispatcher  asks? “He’s running? Which way is he running?” It is at this time that you hear the door chime and suddenly there is wind noise on the cell,  GZ answers Sean, “Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood. (He watches Trayvon from a distance and sees that he is headed toward the “back” entrance.”   Wind noise, has been used to say that GZ was running towards TM, but as the conversation continues we can tell that is not the case, he was just walking trying to maintain eye contact.  It is at this point that the question is asked by Sean, Are you following him?  To which GZ answers in the affirmative,  and Sean says; “Okay, we don’t need you to do that”, to which GZ responds “Ok”.  At this point the dispatcher starts asking GZ his name and other information and is asked if GZ wanted to meet with the police, to which he says yes, and to have the police call him to get directions. It appears as if GZ walked to the end of the T, whether to get an address or to see if TM had left out the back gate, I don’t think he knows for sure, but as he is walking back towards his truck, TM reappears. “Why are you following me,”  or ” Do you have a fucking problem” , GZ attempts to tamp down the confrontation, he says “no”,  “I am not following you”  (in the first interview that W8 gave, the first time she described the incident, this is what she quoted hearing from GZ, which is what he says he said, later this was changed to ” what are you doing here” which completely changes the dynamics of the situation, and it makes GZ appeared as aggressive towards TM on first encounter. Interestingly enough this bit of recording from the interview was in the ABC tape that never made it to the State’s attorneys discovery. Here is a great break-down of the NEN call for reference.

“A moral system valid for all is basically immoral.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

TM’s movements are a little harder to pin down, as there is conflicting testimony, some outright lies, but in this instance I don’t think it is needed.  What we know is that TM was not a happy person that day, it now appears that he had been arguing with W8 throughout the day,  he was also out of pot, his cousin had left for Miami, which left him alone with Brandy, his father’s girlfriend and her son Chad, and it had rained most of the day.  At some point during this miserable day TM went to the store,  upon his return a truck  drove by him and stop the person inside appeared to be looking at him,  as he got closer he decided to check this dude out.  He sees that this cracker was not only spying on him but may be calling the police on him.   He keeps walking and then suddenly he skips away, cuts through the building and finds a hiding place.  Sure enough the lights of the truck and then the stupid asshole.  As he tells W8 was is happening he lowers his voice,  yes he is getting closer,  run, shit I am not going to run, GZ keeps walking toward the end of the T to get his address, TM tells W8 he lost him,  and continues talking, then, oh here he comes again, he lets GZ go past him and then surprises him, “why are you following me, ” challenging , GZ responds meekly, Punk , “you do now” …

“The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws. (from “Rediscovering Lost Values”)”
― Martin Luther King Jr.A Knock at Midnight

So whose morals values are we going to use, GZ’s or TM’s or should we use the Judeo-Christian morals or to be fair, use their own morals to judge their actions.  If we do that then according to their own beliefs, they were both morally correct.  GZ was caught in very fluid situation, and with his moral respect of authority following orders.  When faced with an escalating situation, he tried de-escalate the situation,  even when under attack he still tried to get help, to disengage, it was only when the moral choice was him or TM did he pull the trigger, a moral decision that will haunt him for ever.  TM, to made some moral choices, when he approached the truck, he behaved as his morals guided him, acting tough.  After he ran, and he saw GZ was still trying to maintain contact he acted with moral indignation, and GZ was walking back his morals dictated that he showed GZ a lesson in respect.  They both acted within their moral bonds, and their actions were guided by them.  This is why I prefer to refrain from Moral judgements, as they are only a reflection on your own morals, not necessarily those involved.

Having found that both had acted within their moral codes, how do I judge the situation since my morals are closer in values to GZ, I find that after evaluating the situation his actions were moral as I see it.  Regarding TM and knowing the morals that they live by, I understand the actions, I just don’t approve of them. The feeling that they are living in a jungle and that this is how they must act, is causing great harm within the community and out of it, as adjusting your morals to a new reality is very difficult.  When judging events morally we need to take into account not just our moral values, but the ones who we are judging,  it does not mean we approve or condone it just that we understand their morals.  It is only then that we can try to help those whose morals are falling outside society’s norm.  I leave you with one of my favorite quotes about morals;

“How can one be well…when one suffers morally?”
― Leo TolstoyWar and Peace

Whether you feel GZ  is or not responsible for part, all or some of the events, he is morally entitled to a fair trial, something the State is working hard to prevent, so please if you are able to donate to his defense fund.

(1)http://logical-critical-thinking.com/human-thoughts/what-is-morality-and-where-does-morality-come-from/

(2)http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/98apr/biomoral.htm

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Zimmerman Case-Today’s Hearing-What does it mean?

After today’s hearing and reading some of the headlines in the papers, you would think the Prosecution had won its case.  At the very least it had dealt a serious blow to the Defense and its ability to present its own case to defend George Zimmerman. But, did this actually happened? Or it is all hyperbole by the Martin lawyers and their supporters.  What does it mean, what happened? H/T Libby + Communist News

A year ago: “Trayvon Martin was an innocent little angel, and anyone who says otherwise is a stereotyping racist.”.

Today: “Trayvon Martin’s character is completely irrelevant, and anyone who says otherwise is a stereotyping racist.”

Before we tally and try to explain the proceedings I would like to mention a couple of things which will not be discussed in the mainstream media.  Last week the Defense Team released its 2nd and 3rd Reciprocal Discoveries to the Prosecution and posted the same on its website.  Ever since then the Martin Family through its lawyers, Natalie Jackson in  particular, have been fire-breathing on the Social Networks, in print and televised interviews, about how irresponsible and racist the Defense released of the discovery is.  Implying the media who have been they biggest advocate for over a year is racist for reporting on the discovery, in other words she went nuclear and used the race card.

One thing that none of the Scheme Team would say is that this is the prosecution’s discovery, yes the prosecution’s discovery.  This is what they gave the Defense in January and February, only at that time they gave the .bin file,  just a series of 0000 and 1111 that needed to be converted out computer speak into something we human could recognize.  Let me repeat, this was the prosecution’s discovery that they had in their possession for at least 5 months but did not release.  The prosecution had been sitting on this information, failed to disclose as was their duty, and lied under oath that they did not have on April 25th.

A whistleblower from Corey’s own office in Jacksonville, the information-technology director, Ben Kruidbos has come forward to testify that the prosecution has been hiding evidence, including a video filmed by TM of 2 of his friends beating up  a homeless man, pictures of an underage girl and more gun and drug pictures.  His attorney a former SA in Jacksonville, Wesley White who had resigned from the office in December testified that the prosecution was withholding discovery, as his client has stated. There will be a hearing on June 6th and 7th if needed to address this development.

Let’s recap the other decisions made and whether they are as dire as some would like the public to think. You can follow this link to watch the whole hearing, http://youtu.be/uAQkH_0Qvi0 Thanks to Diwataman

The first motion was to require Shellie Zimmerman to submit to a deposition.  Shellie is facing charges on separate charges stemming from the case but this deposition is not for that case, the prosecution is fishing for anything to use against GZ.  The judge granted the motion but, Shellie can invoke the 5th on a question by question basis. Is this a prosecution win, well partially as Shellie can on her own fight the deposition on 2 grounds the judge cannot tell the defense who their witnesses are, this is the lame prosecution excuse it used to compel her deposition that she was listed as a Defense witness. She can also appeal to the DCA that the conflict due to her own case being prosecuted by the same office (Corey’s) with one of the same SA (John Guy) prosecuting her husband. She might not win but it would delay the deposition and with Judge Nelson insistence that this case go on trial on schedule, the trial could be over before a decision is rendered.  Partial victory, inconclusive.

Motion in limine regarding opinion as to appropriate penalty or disregard of law– In Florida the juries determine guilt and the judge the sentencing, juries are not allowed to consider sentences in their deliberations. Granted

Motion in limine regarding prior criminal history– granted While this looks like it would limit the Defense’s ability to present a defense, it is the law, past criminal history. This works both ways, it prevents the Defense from mentioning GZ lack of criminal history( regardless of what Scheme Team says or believes) but it also means that the prosecution cannot say that TM had a spotless record.  As long as the prosecution does not open the door this will not be discussed.  Tie-both will have to abide by the decision.

State’s motion in limine regarding calling of witnesses– granted, but here is a caveat.  The defense can still remind the jury that they were the ones who called this witness, even if the prosecution didn’t, they just cannot imply that it was because their testimony was detrimental to the prosecution.  This is one of  the motions that makes the State’s case weak, they cannot prevent the Defense from calling a witness, so it is of little value just to prevent the Defense from implying that the prosecution was scared of the testimony presented by the witness, since the jury would have heard the testimony anyhow. Waste of time for prosecution, nothing gain.

State’s motion in limine regarding CSVA – Granted. This is another motion that in my opinion demonstrates the weakness of the Prosecution’s case.  The Computer Stress Voice Analyzer could not be use by the Defense to prove or establish innocence, it is mostly just an investigatory tool.  Yet, the prosecution did not want the Defense to mention on Opening that GZ took a lie detector test, the CVSA, and passed. They feel that if the jury heard that it would be so impressed to affect the outcome. Anyhow the Defense cannot mention the CVSA in opening but could at a later date to rebut the prosecution.  Waste of time, defense can still use it.

Motion in limine regarding self-serving hearsay statements of defendant– Granted, another motion that showcases the weakness of the State,  any “self-serving”  statements will be dealt with as they come up, as they can be used under the Hearsay exceptions rules, just don’t mention any at opening. Waste of time, nothing gained.

Regarding Trayvon Martin

  • School suspensions Granted, Cannot be mentioned at all by either side, without prior ruling from the court.  This leaves it open for the Defense to respond if the State opens the door.
  • Texts or communication about prior marijuana use-Granted, no mention of prior pot use by TM will be allowed. Victory by the prosecution.
  • Fighting, acts of violence Granted but only in regards to opening statements fighting will be allowed to come in if the Defense can clear the hurdle of authentication and hearsay, Defense says it can.
  • Screen Names Granted but only in regards to opening statements fighting will be allowed to come in if the Defense can clear the hurdle of authentication and hearsay, Defense says it can.
  • Gold Teeth-WTF!, Granted. The mention of this in the motion show what the Prosecution thinks of the Defense and how petty the prosecutors are.
  • Schools records-Granted, except for documented acts of fighting or violence. Fighting not to be mentioned by  either side in opening.
  • Text prior to Feb.26th- Granted, but the Defense can argue on the admissibility  of the evidence during trial as it comes up.
  • Text on Feb 26th-Granted, their relevance will be determined by testimony at trial. Basically, Judge Nelson used very strict  interpretations of the law, and any ties went to the prosecution, but allowed that the Defense if the burden is met could use the evidence.  Mostly the only thing affected will be the opening statements where the Defense and the Prosecution will not have the lee-way allowed by other judges.

Motion to limit/exclude improper opinion evidence– Granted, but only in opening statements, later determinations will done in trial as they come up. Nothing really gain, just limiting the opening statements.

Motion for protective order/motion in limine regarding toxicology– Granted but only on opening statements, later determinations will be made after the Judge talks to the experts during trial.

So far the Prosecution managed to limit the scope of the Opening Statements.  Aside from the prohibition on the past marijuana use, and school records aside from any documented fighting, the prosecution has limited itself as much as it has limited the Defense. The other motion from the State, the Gag order was denied.  For the Defense, only the denial of the Motion for a Continuance and the Motion to have jury inspect the scene are blows to the Defense.

Final words, the Judge is definitely showing her bias against the Defense, during one exchange; when O’mara was exclaiming that she could not in limine declared some things out-of-bounds as they go directly to the Defense’s case and that it was invalidating their defense.  The Judge replied that it was the rules of evidence that were in the way, that is yet to be determined but the telling thing is that as she said this she was smirking, mockingly as she said it.  It was a totally inappropriate reaction on her part.

 The Prosecution will get some good PR in the media, but not much else.  The Defense stole the thunder with the revelations about the Prosecution’s probable misconduct and the news of the whistleblower from Corey’s office.  The Judge followed the law in her decisions though with very strict interpretations. What she did not do, though not mentioned in the headlines is shut the Defense down, most of the decisions left the Defense with an avenue to pursue.   I mentioned on other occasions that unless it is black letter law, the Judge would not side with the Defense, but it seems that if the Defense has the law on their side that she will followed the law or so I hope.  The trial is set to start June 10th, help the Defense Fund if you are able. http://www.gzdefensefund.com/donate/

The Trayvon Martin Case; Update 29: The Self-Destroying Narrative

Trayvon Martin, sadly, is being damaged by his own words and actions.  One can argue, to at least some degree, that many young men, particularly those who are shuttled between homes, try to act “tough,” bragging, fighting, perhaps even experimenting with drugs.  Many of those young men eventually grow up and beyond youthful indiscretions.  But many do not, and others end up in jail, or tragically, dead.  That these young men are often in trouble with the police, jailed, injured or killed is not bad luck, prejudice, or ‘profiling,” but the result of their own bad choices.

via The Trayvon Martin Case; Update 29: The Self-Destroying Narrative.

For anyone following this travesty and total abuse of the State’s prosecutorial duties this is another must-read.  Mike with his background in Law Enforcement and knowledge about the Justice System, once again illustrates why the prosecution of George Zimmerman is a fraud and it compounds further a tragedy.

Thank Mike

Zimmerman Case; Muslims Extremists and Urban Thug Culture

Last week we saw 2 Muslim extremists hack to death a soldier coming out of his barracks. This was done in plain daylight in a public street and in view of dozens of pedestrians. Drummer Lee Rigby was coming out of the barracks, he was wearing a t-shirt asking for support for the British heroes serving in the war in Afghanistan. He was accosted by the 2 men who proceeded to stab and decapitate him, all while posing for pictures by passersby.

As with the Boston bombers, 1 of the perpetrators was known by the security forces to harbor extremist views, and had been detained in Kenya a few years ago for attempting to go to Somalia and join the terrorist the group al Shabaab. In both instances our security agencies failed, MI-5 in England and the FBI here. In both cases the young men were radicalized in their teens, and both their families knew about it.

The reactions to the both tragedies by the particular governments have also been similar, condemn the particular event, and admonish people not to ascribe it to the same religion Islam. The strategy is similar because in both cases the governments are in denial as to the problems. Both governments see the problems as a credible difference, they both feel that if they are more appeasing, more understanding, allowed a larger sense of control by the perpetrators, the problem will solve itself. In other words they both have their heads in the sand, and are claiming that they don’t see a problem.

One way the governments of these countries have found to deal with the non-problem is to continue fighting a war overseas, with no clear objective, no strategic interest, a losing strategy and no end in sight. How is this helping the non-problem the extremist have been drawn to the conflict overseas, leaving both countries with a false sense of safety. Another way to deal with the non-problem is to reclassify acts of terror as something else altogether. So when a Major in the Army, goes on a rampage killing 13 and wounding 29 others all while screaming “Allah Akbar”. He was also under suspicion of harboring extremist views, but the Army at the direction of the government was more interested on its goal of pretending the non-problem did not exist. His attack was therefore labeled work-place violence, just another government employee who goes on a rampage; the Major went “postal” as the saying would go.

Whatever we may think of the intentions of these governments in attempting to hide the non-problem, the issue persists. It is not going away, pretending that because we call it something else, not only completely ignores the issue, it means that it will take that much longer to finding a solution. I have been told by many Muslim practitioners that those that are committing these acts are not Muslims, or as the Prime Minister in Britain David Cameron said;

“This was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life. It was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country.”

Assuming  that it is the case these people are not really Muslims but people who have been radicalized and are in fact acting against the principles of Islam, the perpetrators believe that their actions are justified because they are Muslim, and are acting according to the principle of their religion. Are we to judge every Muslim by the actions of the few, of course not. Though some feel that all gun owners should be judged by the actions of a few that misuse those guns. The great majority of Muslims are productive members of society and wonderful people, I know my best man at my wedding is Muslim.

So what is the solution? I will be the first to admit that there is no easy. clear solution, one thing I do know that pretending a problem does not exists, and attempting to apologize, mislead and pretending it is not a problem will not result in any sort or resolution. The Muslim community cannot scream that they are victimized and are persecuted if they by their own inaction, makes them complicit in the acts of the perpetrators. After a terrorist attack occurs or an attempt is made, the Muslim community representatives, and their apologist spend more time trying to minimize the act, explain how the community at large is not responsible and should not be held to account for the actions of those few than condemning the act or trying to prevent the next one. The larger question of why,  there are so many willing to commit these crimes, all justified by Islam in their estimation is completely ignored. Some demand that our laws need to be changed, so as not to be offensive to them. Dress codes need to be modified, freedom of speech must be restricted, Sharia law instituted only then will these Muslim extremist be satisfied.

In other words while proclaiming their innocence, and lack of complicity in the acts of terror, they are asserting that we are at fault. We need to submit, as submission is the only recourse, or lacking that then we must make allowances for them and their way of life.

In the Urban Thug Culture we have some of the same things happenings. Kids are radicalized to the “thug life” while young, many join gangs that further their radicalization. School, sports and other organized activities are shunned. These activities are too structured, contain rules that they feel should not apply to them. The “life” requires its own moral and social codes. It is a lifestyle that is primalistic and materialistic at the same time. The objective being personal gratification without any personal responsibility.Retribution, and constant demonstrations of power play a big part or the “life”. Loud music, loud clothes, loud cars are status symbols, signifying your prowess and success are a must. This means that crime, as a mean to obtain those status symbols and a mean to show your power and success in the “life” are a natural progression.

Most are not really in the “life” but big pretenders, and due to differences in their financial situations, can attain some of those symbols without actually committing any crimes, but even those pretenders are bound to have difficulty with the rules of society as they are a barrier between the two. Trayvon Martin was in this last group, he was well on his way of adapting the “life”, though,  in my opinion. Recent items released on discovery paint a young man who for whatever reason was being radicalized, and giving up all those things that had been a part of his younger self and adopting the mores of the “thug life”.

How is our government and related institutions dealing with this issue that is affecting the lives of many of our young in Urban areas? The government acknowledges the higher crime levels, lower graduation rates, higher levels of teen pregnancies and higher level of incarceration of the young. What they can bring themselves to say is that the Urban Thug Culture that permeates these urban areas are at fault. The Urban Thug Culture has a lot of proponents, the music derived from it is looked at romantically as poetic self-expression. Oversize clothing, tattoos, large pieces of jewelry are designed to make you look bigger, badder and intimidating are derived from the oversized prison wear, ironically. The Media, Hollywood and some social organizations have glorified those living the “thug life” and present them as modern-day Robin Hoods, except that they usually steal and kill  from each other.

Black youths have been especially susceptible to the Urban Thug culture and have been a major contributor to it. This creates a problem how do you denounce something that is a major part of a community without appearing to denounce the community itself? As with the Muslim extremist the answer has been to call the problems that this culture has brought upon the community something else. To mask it as poverty, lack of government programs, poor schools, guns, lack of birth control, and of course a bias and over zealous police departments. Some of those issues play into the situation and can factor on whether a young man would try to join in the thug life, but they are not the cause, in many cases they are just symptoms as a result of  the Thug Life.

As with Muslim extremist, the Urban thugs cannot be denounced doing so is seen as denouncing the whole community. The Muslim community continues to ignore the extremist amongst them, and in many cases excuse their behavior as caused by others. The Urban thugs likewise cannot be denounced and held accountable, doing so will mean the community accepting some responsibility for the issues the Thug culture has brought on them, not just the achievements on the arts and fashion but the downsides, the crime, high pregnancy rates, high levels of single parent homes, lack of upward mobility and of course large percentage of incarceration. You can’t be the victim and the perpetrator at the same time, as they both claim.

This brings us to the Zimmerman case, TM though coming from a broken home, was growing up in a Middle class surrounding but had been radicalized in his teens. He gave up Football that had comprise part of his early life, and instead was becoming a banger, a hood another Urban thug. The new discovery just released point that clearly. It also illustrates that the parents knew to some extent the problems he had, the whole trip to Sanford was just one way the family was attempting to help TM. Yet knowing those issues the family embarked on a quest to get Zimmerman. They constructed a facade to hide TM behind and portrayed him as weak. boy, stalked, chased and killed by a bully, an overly zealous white Neighborhood watchman.

The media and the State bought into this fantasy, enough to charge GZ with a crime, and now intends to prosecute him and put him in jail for 25 years. There were early indications of something not right, as the family’s story had holes in it, but trough the help of the lawyers and the PR recruit, they managed to come up with a simple “narrative” that was then spread around the country and in Britain. Some of the early lies were ridiculously easy to debunk, had the media tried to. The one instance the media did report on some of the problems TM had at school, the family went on the warpath, and with teary eyes decried;

they killed my son now they are killing his reputation,

the media got the message and backed off. This had been the things as they are for a very long time, but with the assistance of the Defense some new information is coming out and what it says about TM is not flattering in the least. This new information or a least I should say new to us the public, because the prosecution was in possession of this information for months. The pictures of TM holding a gun, smoking marijuana, bragging about his fights, school suspensions, his attempts to get his own gun, all of this runs contrary to the portrayal the family had so lovingly and for so long stood unchallenged.

As with the earlier disclosures from last year the Martin Family lawyers and particularly Natalie Jackson has been vocal about her displeasure at the revelations made by the Defense team, she has gone so far at to insinuate that the media which had treated them like darlings for over a year was racist for displaying and written about the Defense revelations. On another occasion she basically said that the Defense discovery was in doubt, was inadmissible in court (which is an admission that it is factual) and the press better govern itself accordingly.

Nevermind that this is evidence culled from TM’s own phone, and that the prosecution had advance knowledge of all of this, which is why earlier on the month they filed 9 separate motions, most looking to suppress or limit the amount of information about TM that would be allowed at trial. If the prosecution gets its way the defense would not be able to provide a defense as to why it is not only possible but probable that TM had indeed attack GZ because he felt disrespected or otherwise maligned by GZ’s surveillance.

The reactions by the authorities on both of these tragedies only help to make them worse, not better. In the soldier’s beheading the government has now decreed that soldiers must remove their uniforms and walk in pairs when leaving their barracks in the area where the Lee Rigby was killed. The government also moved to charge people who have made disparaging remarks on Twitter and Facebook, at least 2 were arrested and charged.  Now, what should have been a symbol of pride, serving for your country. must now be hidden to appease those that disagree with them, and your rights of speech are curtailed.

In the Zimmerman case, the State charged GZ with a crime of murder, even though they admitted in court that they had no evidence that contradicted his story, and had not vetted the background of TM thoroughly. It accepted a fairy tale as the truth, made not attempt to pretend it was impartial. It did this to appease angry crowds, that are firsts victims of  the thug culture they so fervently defend.  The same culture that has ravaged their community, left many of their sons in jail or in the morgue.

Trial schedule to start June 10th, donate to the Defense team if you are able. http://www.gzdefensefund.com/donate/

 

 

 

Zimmerman Case, The Prosecution’s Case

The case of the State of Florida against George Zimmerman is fast approaching.  Jury summons have been mailed, subpoenas for witnesses are being mailed, all moving towards what seems like an unavoidable very public trial. As I mentioned in a previous post, the prosecution is trying to line up its ducks to prepare for its case, the guys at Rumpole’s site decided to do a little exercise on what sort of case the prosecution has and how they would have it presented. H/T to John Galt and Chip Bennet.

John Galt, presented the prosecution’s case, Chip Bennet did the rebuttal, my comments are in red.

John Galt-BDLR’s anticipated story:orl-bernie-de-la-rionda-20130305

GZ Background: Neighborhood Watch, prior calls to police about youth burglars, Neighborhood Watch meeting, training, not supposed to pursue or carry gun, GZ lives in neighborhood, familiar with neighborhood and streets. GZ criminal justice training. Knows the law. Implication: GZ knows how to conform his story to requirements of law.  While I agree that BDLR will attempt to introduce prior calls by GZ  to the SPD, he had to be careful with this, as it opens the door for the Defense to introduce evidence of the over 400 calls made to 911, for a variety of issues in the neighborhood.   It also bears saying that GZ did not call 911 but the Non-Emergengy number, the distinction being that if GZ truly “profiled” TM as a criminal he would have called 911 for a faster response.  In other words he saw something suspicious, rather than confront, he wanted the police to handle it.

NEN call: GZ profiled TM as a criminal because he was walking in the rain with a hoodie: fuarking punk, azzholes always get away. GZ followed, even after dispatcher told him not to follow. Looking for an address excuse is BS, GZ was still pursuing TM. BDLR will reference NEN call as containing running and wind noise from running. BDLR will reference GZ’s prior calls to cops, purchase of gun as demonstrating GZ’s evolution into crazed vigilante who wants to stop azzhole fuarking punk from always getting away. The Prosecution has made a lot of hay out of 2 ‘off the cuff’ statements, trying to prove malice in GZ, IMO this is the prosecution reaching, if the call is listened to objectively, the frustration and resignation in GZ’s voice is evident, not as the prosecution projects.  I believe BDLR will try to use the call to suggest at least stalking by GZ, and that he was following TM, I don’t doubt that he will try to imply that GZ disregarded the police (though the dispatcher is not a LEO) was reckless and an escalation. This is a reason the wording use is important like the use of the word “profiling” without any context makes it look as a crime. If the prosecution used the words GZ determined that TM was suspicious,  it loses the intent, and it makes the jury think, why would GZ determine that TM was suspicious.  The word profile puts the onus on GZ, and removes TM from the equation. The Defense picked up on this at the 1st bond hearing and grilled Investigator Gilbreath about it. They need to continue.     

TM returning from 7-11: This is a big problem. I think W8 would get shredded. Chad might fold and his story is inconsistent with purchase of a single WMFJC(Arizona Watermelon Fruit Cocktail) and a bag of skittles. Not two drinks and no snack for TM. There is also the half time basketball game problem and why Chad didn’t hear shooting and sirens and other commotion. The 7-11 video shows a scary hooded, pants sagging thug. 3 stooges drug deal might surface. So if I were BDLR, I would be inclined to skip the 7-11 trip and have cop testify about what was found at scene of the shooting: WMFJC and candy. Not really pertinent where or why he bought items. No drugs, burglary tools, stolen property, no bag for carrying burglary tools or stolen property and no weapons. Just simple facts: We found the dead kid with WMFJC, skittles, lighter, a small amount of money (no drugs or big drug dealer cash), headphones, cell phone, button. No gang tattoos, has his momma’s name on his arm. Nothing consistent with any intention to commit a crime. Dead kid was staying with father and girlfriend in the neighborhood. [That simple little last part might be a problem, maybe just have cop testify that he subsequently located TM father staying in neighborhood and looking for missing kid. Don’t want to open the door into why TM was staying in the neighborhood. Maybe Nelson helps out by banning mention of anything bad about TM.] I agree with JG in this regard, the prosecution will have to thread carefully with this area.  As the motions filed by the State prove they want to conceal as much of TM past as the Judge will allow.  How did TM get to Sanford if he does not live there? Where did the WMFJC and skittles come from?  Both of the prosecution’s witnesses in this regard are problematic,  Chad, may have to answer questions that the State does not want to answer and W8 has other issues that we have address in other posts.   I believe that BDLR will call W8 and not Chad.  She can establish that TM went to the 7-11 and could alibi TM for the length of time it took him to get back as well (was raining, they were talking, etc.)  Chad can open a can of worms the State does not want and for that reason I don’t think he will be called to testify.

Timeline: If GZ was returning to his truck after NEN call, he would have been at his truck. GZ had no intention of returning to his truck as evidenced by telling dispatcher to have the cops call him upon arrival, rather than meet him at his truck. “have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at” GZ was hunting TM, didn’t want “fuarking azzhole punk to always get away” If I was BDLR, I would make that my mantra. Try to say it as many times as possible. GZ evolved into an obsessed gun-toting Neighborhood Watch vigilante, falsely profiled TM as a criminal, and consistently pursued him to keep “the fuarking azzhole punk from always getting away.” Depraved state of mind. I also think that the State will try to get as much traction from this as possible.  Speculation aside, the timeline does provide enough time to GZ to return, not that he was doing anything illegal by him slowly walking back or just standing at the point he last saw TM, but the prosecution will attempt to paint this as reckless, and demonstrative of GZ lack of fear or concern about TM.  It is not much but it is all the State has and needs to make the most out of it.

Confrontation / Fight: TM body and phone 30 or 40 feet away from T where GZ alleges he was attacked. GZ chased TM down the T. Witness heard confrontation moving in that direction. GZ advancing, chasing fuarking azzhole punk to prevent him from always getting away. TM retreating. No GZ blood found in vicinity of T. TM has only one tiny cut on his knuckle (autopsy actually calls it an abrasion, which is more consistent with a fight). Inconsistent with administering MMA beating. GZ has minor scrapes on head, inconsistent with beating head repeatedly against sidewalk. GZ sustained broken nose after he chased TM down and attempted to keep him from getting away. GZ started the fight. Sybrina & Cutcher – TM was screaming for help. Poor little boy was screaming for help. [I think Nelson would be doing BDLR a favor if she banned the flaky voice experts. Cross-ex and rebuttal would be extremely ugly, and would make it appear that BDLR is engaged in a desperate attempt to BS the jury. Don’t put Tracy on the stand for voice ID. Just Sybrina and Cutcher.] I would also call W 6 so that the jury won’t be surprised later, dark, not sure who was screaming for help, guy in red was on the bottom, but didn’t see or hear blows struck, didn’t hear head hitting sidewalk. Austin saw somebody on the ground, doesn’t know anything else, didn’t see anybody on top throwing blows, didn’t hear blows or head hitting sidewalk. I agree that the State will try play up the distance as proof of a chase.  40 feet without context sounds like a long distance but if you say that the body was 13 yards or 15 steps from the T it suddenly does not look as bad.  Even though there is a debris trail that leads down the path from the T to the location of the body, the defense will try to claim the fight started at or near the final location, giving the appearance of a least following by GZ. I believe BDLR will try to claim the screams came from TM, the voice analysis is inconclusive, in fact one report asserts that GZ was making the screams that really transfixed the nation, the other report hinges  who has the younger sounding voice; anyone that has heard GZ will have doubts as them not coming from GZ.  If the voice experts are allowed to testify their testimony will be more confusing than probative.  Sybrina saying it is her son may help in the matter but only to some extent and it would open the door for the Defense to argue that Tracy did not think it was TM.   W6 and Austin (boy walking dog) have limited value in this regard and could actually help GZ, so I would be careful with their testimony.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Medical / Gunshot: Kid is dead, shot in the heart by Z’s gun. Shot placement intended to kill, not merely disable or stop attack. GZ shot to kill. Pretty straight forward stuff here, as GZ has admitted to shooting TM, only interesting aspect will be if the State will try to present testimony that the angle of the wound somehow  show malicious intent on the part of GZ.  Make absolutely no mention of the toxicology report or get an expert to testify that it was not a factor.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Aftermath: GZ astride TM, holding his hands apart, down, still trying to prevent the fuarking, azzhole punk from trying to get away. GZ still obsessed, depraved: keep fuarking azzhole punk from trying to get away. Depraved Neighborhood Watch vigilante gone wild. Not trying to help TM, not lying or sitting on ground as if he had a serious head injury or had sustained repeated blows to the head. GZ lucid and nonchalant, tells neighbor to call wife and tell her he just shot somebody, tells cop he shot the kid. No big deal, not agitated or distraught or dazed or confused. [BDLR has already filed motion to exclude GZ’s “I was screaming but nobody would help.” as a self-serving statement. This is a very important motion, imho.] GZ declined medical treatment beyond cleaning up blood from superficial abrasions. Definitely, bringing up the injuries and what are perceived as minor abrasions will be part of the State case, the law is clear that this is not a consideration but to some jurors it might give them a pause.  Combined with the attempt by the prosecution of suppressing statements by GZ, give the indication that this is part of their argument.  GZ actions will be analysed thoroughly and this is one area that will be examined.

Then rest and see if defense puts GZ on the stand. Cross GZ with inconsistent statements if he testifies. Make him look absurd. You’ve lived in the neighborhood for how long? You are Neighborhood Watch and regularly patrol neighborhood. You have previously called police numerous times, yet you still don’t know the names of the streets? Serious injury? Fear for your life? You thought you were sustaining life threatening blows to the head, but you refused to go to the hospital. Isn’t it true that you had determined in your mind that TM was a “fuarking punk” ? Isn’t it true that you had determined in your mind that TM was an “azzhole who always gets away” ? Isn’t it true that you had determined in your mind that TM was a criminal intending to commit a crime in the neighborhood? Isn’t it true that you called the police because you believed in your mind that TM was a criminal intending to commit a crime in the neighborhood? My belief is that the whole prosecution’s strategy is to force GZ to testify on the stand.  I feel that is the prosecution’s best scenario for obtaining a guilty verdict.  Disallowing or at the very least inserting enough doubt into GZ story of self-defense so that either their theory or one of the included lesser charges are considered is their goal.  I don’t see how they can outright prove the charges with the evidence they have presented.

List of witnesses for the State:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Gun dealer employee(s) where Z bought gun, took class
Custodian of records from GZ criminal justice school
Woman at SPD that exchanged emails about Neighborhood Watch program
Cop that made neighborhood watch presentation
Custodian of records at SPD regarding Z’s prior calls
NEN and 911 call dispatchers & custodian of records to authenticate recordings
cops responding to TM shooting scene
cops that examined, mapped, photographed scene and collected evidence
EMT responding to TM shooting scene
W6, I would add W8
Cutcher
Austin
other 911 caller that heard confrontation moving down from T.
witness at scene that GZ told to call his wife
Sybrina
Medical Examiner & gunshot expert


John Galt’s counter argument is brief but to the point:

The counter argument is that there is no evidence that GZ started the physical conflict and that the location of the physical evidence corroborates GZ’s statement that he was attacked by TM at the T while returning to his vehicle. Following TM to attempt to maintain visual observation (as arguably requested by NEN dispatcher) is not a crime. Self-defense does not require actually suffering serious physical injury, but rather reasonable belief of imminent danger of death or great bodily harm. Basically the position taken by the SPD from the outset: GZ should not have been charged in the absence of probable cause.

I just don’t think that adding a bunch of absurd easily rebuttable BS (W8 and voice experts) strengthens the state’s case.

This is Chip Bennet”s response, point by point in blue.omara
BDLR’s anticipated story:GZ Background: Neighborhood Watch, prior calls to police about youth burglars, Neighborhood Watch meeting, training, not supposed to pursue or carry gun, GZ lives in neighborhood, familiar with neighborhood and streets. GZ criminal justice training. Knows the law. Implication: GZ knows how to conform his story to requirements of law.

I assume that the defense would object to the relevance of any of this information? Background does not help prove the instant charge, does it?
Also: Florida CCW law preempt any law, statute, regulation, or rule prohibiting concealed carry. Zimmerman’s knowledge of neighborhood and its streets is pure speculation. The defense may object but some background will ultimately be admitted about GZ  in this regard.  The NW information should be irrelevant unless the State can prove he was on duty at the time.  As for addresses, I agree pure speculation.

Quote:
NEN call: GZ profiled TM as a criminal…

Speculation. Zimmerman said that he “looked like he was up to no good”, and that he was just “wandering about”, and “looked like he was on drugs or something“. Insert toxicology report here. If Nelson prohibits it, one more obvious point for appeal. Again this is more about the prosecution setting GZ state of mind than actual evidence of anything. 

Quote:

…because he was walking in the rain with a hoodie: fuarking punk, azzholes always get away.

Give BDLR some extremely minor points for motive. I am not conceding any points to BDLR, that is his assertion, GZ saw a suspicious figure and wanted the LE’s to respond.

Quote:
GZ followed, even after dispatcher told him not to follow.

Evidence? Without evidence, this is speculation, and I assume the defense will object on grounds of arguing facts not in evidence, or speculation. The most the NEN call can prove is that GZ kept within eyesight of TM until he lost him once TM turned on the dog path down the T.  W8 testimony is at best confusing, but only give the indication of  GZ following, not anything else.

Quote:
Looking for an address excuse is BS, GZ was still pursuing TM.

Speculation. No evidence. Since GZ was unable to communicate with LE’s afterwards due to the incident, BDLR can assert this, but can’t prove it.

Quote:
BDLR will reference NEN call as containing running and wind noise from running.

More speculation. No evidence of the cause/nature of the wind noise. And most importantly: even if it is evidence of Zimmerman running (moving quickly – defense will argue that he was in poor health/bad back, wearing work boots, and thus incapable of running), the wind noise stopped a few seconds after the “We don’t need you to do that,” “Okay” exchange. Another issue where the prosecution will assert something but has no proof.

Quote:
BDLR will reference GZ’s prior calls to cops, purchase of gun as demonstrating GZ’s evolution into crazed vigilante who wants to stop azzhole fuarking punk from always getting away.

More speculation, and arguing facts not in evidence. Zimmerman purchased his handgun in December 2009 (after obtaining his CCW in November), in response to a menacing dog in the community, and at the specific advice of the police officer who responded to Zimmerman’s report about the menacing dog“Don’t use pepper spray,” [the police officer] told the Zimmermans, according to a friend. “It’ll take two or three seconds to take effect, but a quarter-second for the dog to jump you. Get a gun..   The defense will have to get someone to testify to this.  Once that is done this point will be nullified.

Quote:

TM returning from 7-11: This is a big problem. I think W8 would get shredded. Chad might fold and his story is inconsistent with purchase of a single WMFJC and a bag of skittles. Not two drinks and no snack for TM. There is also the half time basketball game problem and why Chad didn’t hear shooting and sirens and other commotion. The 7-11 video shows a scary hooded, pants sagging thug. 3 stooges drug deal might surface. So if I were BDLR, I would be inclined to skip the 7-11 trip and have cop testify about what was found at scene of shooting: WMFJC and candy. Not really pertinent where or why he bought items. No drugs, burglary tools, stolen property, no bag for carrying burglary tools or stolen property and no weapons. Just simple facts: We found the dead kid with WMFJC, skittles, lighter, a small amount of money (no drugs or big drug dealer cash), headphones, cell phone, button. No gang tattoos, has his momma’s name on his arm. Nothing consistent with any intention to commit a crime. Dead kid was staying with father and girlfriend in the neighborhood. [That simple little last part might be a problem, maybe just have cop testify that he subsequently located TM father staying in neighborhood and looking for missing kid. Don’t want to open the door into why TM was staying in the neighborhood. Maybe Nelson helps out by banning mention of anything bad about TM.]

And all of it is irrelevant to the matter at hand: what happened to instigate and escalate the physical altercation between Zimmerman and Martin. I agree that Witness 8 has already served her complete purpose, and will never grace the inside of a courtroom. I am going to disagree slightly, I think the prosecution will call W8 and roll the dice. 

Quote:

Timeline: If GZ was returning to his truck after NEN call, he would have been at his truck.

Zimmerman was under no obligation to go directly to his truck, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200. Obvious rebuttals:
– Zimmerman’s stated timeline, including walking to the front side of the building, looking for a sign, and then walking back, fits entirely with the timeline of events
– The timeline, which includes 2 1/2 minutes from Zimmerman hanging up with NEN to the first witness 911 call connecting, does not provide sufficient time for Zimmerman to traverse 380 feet to Brandi Green’s home, to chase Martin 380 feet back to the sidewalk T, engage in a verbal confrontation, and then engage in a physical altercation.
– If Martin was attempting to return home, he had more than ample time to do so, before Zimmerman ever ended his NEN call.
On its own, this point proves nothing – and there is GPS/ping evidence that will show, to some degree of detail/resolution, the relative paths of both Zimmerman and Martin.
We are missing a part of the puzzle, which I hope the GPS/ping logs would clarify, but baring evidence to the contrary if GZ choose to stand at the T, he has every right to do so.  Ascribing thoughts or intentions without proof is wrong and discriminatory.

Quote:

GZ had no intention of returning to his truck as evidenced by telling dispatcher to have the cops call him upon arrival, rather than meet him at his truck.

Speculation. BDLR is not clairvoyant, and cannot state as fact anything regarding Zimmerman’s intent. Claiming the fact that he eventually shot Martin as evidence of Zimmerman’s intent is logical fallacy, begging the question.
More assertions without facts or merit.

Quote:
…”have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at” GZ was hunting TM, didn’t want “fuarking azzhole punk to always get away”

More speculation. More arguing facts not in evidence, specifically: “hunting”. Agreed.

Quote:

If I was BDLR, I would make that my mantra. Try to say it as many times as possible. GZ evolved into an obsessed gun-toting Neighborhood Watch vigilante…

I would expect the defense to object every time BDLR attempts to do so. Such statements are speculative, represent facts not in evidence. 

While BDLR will not probably use those words, he imo, will attempt to portray GZ as such

Quote:
…falsely profiled TM as a criminal…

Speculation. Facts not in evidence.  Also: Zimmerman indicated that Martin “looked like he was on drugs”. Toxicology report confirms that suspicion. That confirmation corroborates Zimmerman’s suspicion, and corroborates his state of mind/contradicts depravity of mind.
I mentioned the word profile before, I hope the Defense addresses it, further.

Quote:
…and consistently pursued him…

Facts not in evidence. Where are the GPS/ping location maps?

Quote:

…to keep “the fuarking azzhole punk from always getting away.” Depraved state of mind.

Prior police/incident reports will corroborate that fear/concern regarding “punks always getting away” is perfectly justified.
Great point.

Quote:
Confrontation / Fight: TM body and phone 30 or 40 feet away from T where GZ alleges he was attacked. GZ chased TM down the T.

Evidence of chase? None so far.
Rebuttals:
– 30-40 feet during an assault is nothing, and easily fits Zimmerman’s statements
– Martin disappeared around the side of the building several minutes before the altercation took place. How/why was he anywhere near 30-40 feet from the sidewalk T?
– Debris field corroborates that the altercation started AT the sidewalk T
– The timeline does not provide sufficient time for a chase
– The dog walk path/area between the houses would have been dark, due to lack of lighting, and particularly so, given the weather. Zimmerman’s sight distance would have been no more than a few feet (as corroborated by Witness 6 testimony)
– Zimmerman indicates that he lost sight of Martin before he ever exited his vehicle, and when standing in the vicinity of the sidewalk T, told the NEN operator, “I don’t know where this kid is”

Quote:
Witness heard confrontation moving in that direction.

More evidence that the altercation started in the vicinity of the sidewalk T – direct contradiction to the pursued/chased/hunted speculation.

Quote:
GZ advancing, chasing fuarking azzhole punk to prevent him from always getting away.

Speculation. Facts not in evidence. Where are the GPS/ping location maps?

Quote:
TM retreating.

Speculation. Facts not in evidence. Where are the GPS/ping location maps?

Quote:
No GZ blood found in vicinity of T.

Irrelevant. Proves nothing. Why should there be any of Zimmerman’s blood in the vicinity of the sidewalk T? He could have been sucker-punched in the nose by Evander Holyfield, and he probably would not have bled (much less, sprayed blood to the extent that any would be found at the location of the punch) immediately at the sidewalk T. 
Did everyone forget it was raining that night?  Any blood diluted by the rain would easily wash off, same applies to clothing with water-resistant coating which GZ  was wearing.

Quote:
TM has only one tiny cut on his knuckle. Inconsistent with administering MMA beating.

Plenty of witnesses corroborate that Martin was on top of Zimmerman. Witness 6 testimony refutes speculation regarding inconsistency.

Quote:
GZ has minor scrapes on head, inconsistent with beating head repeatedly against sidewalk.

More speculation. Also, mis-characterization. The wounds were lacerations, not “minor scrapes”. Blunt force trauma (such as head banging the ground/sidewalk) can present as either internal or external injuries. Mere existence of head injuries corroborates claim that Martin was aggressor and Zimmerman was victim.

Quote:
GZ sustained broken nose…

Prima facie evidence that Martin was the initial physical aggressor.

Quote:

…after he chased TM down…

Speculation. Facts not in evidence. Where are the GPS/ping location maps?
See bottom 

Quote:

..and attempted to keep him from getting away.

Speculation. Facts not in evidence.
Further: no evidence that Martin reasonably feared that Zimmerman would imminently use unlawful force against Martin; thus, no evidence that the broken nose was a justifiable use of force in self-defense.
This is an important point, as even the testimony of W8 disproves that TM felt afraid of  GZ. In fact one gets the notion that he was annoyed.

Quote:
GZ started the fight.

Speculation. Facts not in evidence.

Quote:

Sybrina & Cutcher – TM was screaming for help. Poor little boy was screaming for help.

Cutcher impeached herself. No “little boy” was present.
Sybrina: on cross, will be forced to admit that she has never heard Trayvon scream bloody murder as recorded on the 911 call, and thus cannot reliably state that the voice was her son’s.
Rebuttal: eye-witnesses. Tracy Martin’s admission (as witnessed by 3 SPD officers)

Quote:
[I think Nelson would be doing BDLR a favor if she banned the flaky voice experts. Cross-ex and rebuttal would be extremely ugly, and would make it appear that BDLR is engaged in a desperate attempt to BS the jury. Don’t put Tracy on the stand for voice ID. Just Sybrina and Cutcher.]

If the voice experts are allowed: another point for appeal. Also, I agree that they will be detrimental to the State’s case.
Quote:

I would also call W 6 so that the jury won’t be surprised later, dark, not sure who was screaming for help, guy in red was on the bottom, but didn’t see or hear blows struck, didn’t hear head hitting sidewalk.

Witness 6 corroborates Martin’s use of force against Zimmerman, and disparity of force (full MMA low mount, punching/knocking to the ground, forcibly restraining) that would itself justify reasonable fear of imminent risk to life or great bodily harm.

Quote:
Austin saw somebody on the ground, doesn’t know anything else, didn’t see anybody on top throwing blows, didn’t hear blows or head hitting sidewalk.

I’m not sure Austin gets called. His recanted testimony would open up doors that the State/Scheme Team would not want opened.
Agreed.

Quote:
Medical / Gunshot: Kid is dead, shot in the heart by Z’s gun. Shot placement intended to kill, not merely disable or stop attack. GZ shot to kill.

Use of a gun is inherently deadly force. Shot placement does not make the use of the gun any more or less deadly, statutory.

Quote:
Aftermath: GZ astride TM, holding his hands apart, down, still trying to prevent the fuarking, azzhole punk from trying to get away. GZ still obsessed, depraved: keep fuarking azzhole punk from trying to get away. Depraved Neighborhood Watch vigilante gone wild. Not trying to help TM, not lying or sitting on ground as if he had a serious head injury or had sustained repeated blows to the head. GZ lucid and nonchalant, tells neighbor to call wife and tell her he just shot somebody, tells cop he shot the kid. No big deal, not agitated or distraught or dazed or confused.

Lots of more speculation, facts not in evidence. Neighbor eye-witness testimony, EMT statements, responding police officer statements all support Zimmerman’s self-defense claim, and refute such attempted nonsense speculation.
W6 who was closed to the scene was unable to clearly see the incident, but someone at twice the distance was able to make out GZ activities around the body?

Quote:
[BDLR has already filed motion to exclude GZ’s “I was screaming but nobody would help.” as a self-serving statement. This is a very important motion, imo.]

How could this possibly be inadmissible? More grounds for appeal.

Quote:
GZ declined medical treatment beyond cleaning up blood from superficial abrasions.

Not relevant. Justifiable use of deadly force in self-defense does not require a severity-of-injury threshold. (Insert anecdote about the Utah soccer referee here. )

Quote:

Then rest…

If this is all the State presents – speculation, theory, and no evidence – then I would expect the defense to file a motion to dismiss/acquit due to lack of evidence.

Quote:

…and see if defense puts GZ on the stand. Cross GZ with inconsistent statements if he testifies. Make him look absurd. You’ve lived in the neighborhood for how long? You are Neighborhood Watch and regularly patrol neighborhood. You have previously called police numerous times, yet you still don’t know the names of the streets? Serious injury? Fear for your life? You thought you were sustaining life threatening blows to the head, but you refused to go to the hospital. Isn’t it true that you had determined in your mind that TM was a “fuarking punk” ? Isn’t it true that you had determined in your mind that TM was an “azzhole who always gets away” ? Isn’t it true that you had determined in your mind that TM was a criminal intending to commit a crime in the neighborhood? Isn’t it true that you called the police because you believed in your mind that TM was a criminal intending to commit a crime in the neighborhood?

There’s almost no chance that O’Mara/West let BDLR attempt his argumentative, witness-badgering, leading/compound question, pit bull routine with Zimmerman on the stand.donwest

Basic conclusion, as illustrated by this exercise in which we tried to use the discovery to convict GZ.  In order to do so the prosecution has to make jumps. speculate on things and avoid certain facts of the incident.  For the prosecution to make a case it has to ignore distances, completely ignore conditions and assume malice on GZ’s part based on 2 phrases.  For instead the State cannot prove a chase, as there was none, the distances and timeline preclude that.  Some of the witness testimony is suspect because of the conditions of that night.  It was raining, very dark and visibility only a few yards.  This further complicates the implication of a chase as unless GZ was within a few yards of TM he would have lost him, and not have caught 15 steps from the T as some on TM’s camp have asserted.  The voice testimony from the prosecution is contradictory at best, exculpatory at worst. W8 testimony obfuscate a large portion of time that may not be to the State’s benefit to get into.  Attempts to demonize GZ have failed, and they now concede that GZ did not have a Felony record, this is a clear indication that after further investigation the State was unable to prove a history of violence as many claim. Right now the prosecution imo is reduced to trying to force GZ to testify in order to make something out of nothing.

This travesty is set to go on trial June 10th help the Defense Fund if your able.

Prosecution Motions

On Friday, May 10th the prosecution in the case of State of Florida vs. 
George Zimmerman, filed 9 motions in court, in an attempt to shore up 
its case and prevent some evidence from being brought forth at trial.  
 
In a peremptory move the State filed the following “In limine”, which 
is Latin for “from the start” or in other words before the trial 
testimony in presented to the jury. I will be breaking them down; 
provide my analysis of what the purpose or the goal of each motion is, 
and what effects they will have at trial. 
These are my own opinions which will be based on my research and 
that of some people who are far more knowledgeable than I am. As we 
will see later, some of the motions the State filed are very common, 
with one caveat, it is usually the defense that would be the one to 
file them. The nine motions are as follows,click on links,for filings:
 
Regarding Trayvon Martin
Here the State is trying to suppress from the beginning any evidence or 
opinions about TM in particularly:
·         Had ever been suspended from school
·         Had ever used marijuana or talked about the use of marijuana
·         Had ever been in a fight(s)
·         Had posted anything on Social Media sites or his screen name(s)
·         Had a set of gold teeth
·         Any mention of his schools or his grades
·         Any texts he might have sent before Feb 26th
·         Any texts he sent on Feb 26th unless they can be tied to the 
          incident and they are ruled admissible by the court

The State is trying to hide any reference of TM’s actions prior to the 
incident. They want the jury to only consider their version of TM or 
in the abstract to hide TM personality.  We know that TM is 
guilty of those offenses but the law does not allow prior bad acts 
unless they are felonies. In this case GZ is claiming self-defense as 
such; the Judge may allow some testimony that is relevant.  Any 
history of violence, may be relevant, as well as drug use, since GZ 
is claiming that this was part of the reason for his calling the police, 
he thought TM was high. The issue of his suspension may be relevant 
as well as this was the reason TM was staying in Sanford, because of 
the suspension.

Prediction; The law seems clear on prior bad acts, but it does give 
some lee-way in self-defense cases, I believe the Judge will rule on 
it as the issues come up.
Prediction Denied
 
 State’s motion in limine regarding calling of witnesses

The State has listed some witnesses that it may not call, and it 
wants to prevent the defense from stating that the reason for not 
calling in the witnesses is because the testimony is adverse to the 
prosecution. 

Some think this is in reference to Serino who was the lead 
investigator from the Sanford Police Department or other cops. 
It is also a possibility that this refers to the testimony of the FBI 
sound expert or one of the other sound experts whose reports are 
contrary to the findings on the third sound expert. The FBI 
determined that due to the quality and interference it could not 
determine who was screaming on the 911 tapes, the second sound expert, 
though admitting the problems and the marginality of the recording 
could only make a partial determination, but it determined that the 
lasts screams on the tape were more likely from GZ but definitely not 
from TM. 

To me this scenario seems likely as the defense is unlikely to call 
them to testify if the prosecution fails to have them appear. I 
believe the Judge will tell the defense that if there is a witness, 
they can call them to the stand themselves.

Prediction- Granted

Motion in limine regarding opinion as to appropriate penalty or 
disregard of law

This motion is interesting as the State is concerned that the jurors 
would disregard the law and acquit if they find the sentence too 
harsh or just decide to nullify the verdict. 

The US 2nd Court of Appeals in 1997 has decided that jury 
nullification in “just cause” to return a verdict of not guilty. 
There is also a movement currently present in Florida that aims to 
instruct jurors on their right to nullify a law if they feel the 
State was abusing its power, for instance. What the State is 
concerned is that jurors could find GZ guilty as charged or some
lesser included charge but that the sentence he would receive 
would be harsher punishment than what the jury feels that GZ 
deserves.  

Last year in April, 2012 a person was arrested for trying to impart 
pamphlets informing jurors of their rights to nullify a verdict. 
The Federal District Court in Southern Florida dismissed the 
indictment as the judge saw informing a juror was not jury tampering
in any stretch of the meaning. 

Sentencing guidelines are not part of the normal jury instructions, 
and neither is anything related to jury nullification. I believe that 
if MOM wants special instructions that he must file a motion
requesting the judge to add any other instruction. 
Standard Jury Instructions for Florida, 
(click for link)

Prediction-Granted

Motion for protective order/motion in limine regarding toxicology

The State wants a protective order to suppress any mention of the 
marijuana traces found on TM on that night as the State says:

“No witness has suggested that the level of marijuana reflected 
in the victim’s blood sample has any bearing 
whatsoever on the cause of his death. Nor is there any evidence 
to suggest the victim ingested the marijuana 
at or even near the time of death; that he was under the influence; 
or that being under the influence would 
in any way be relevant to the actions of either vict.”

This is not entirely true, as GZ mentioned that he thought that 
TM was under the influence which might have been causing his unusual 
actions. This argument also fails to mention that as there are no 
witnesses on record, besides the ear-witness, that had observed TM, 
to say his actions were not impaired is not established it is only 
alleged by the prosecution.

Prediction- Denied  

Motion in limine regarding self-serving hearsay statements of defendant

The State wants to exclude self-serving statements; it is unclear 
to what the State is referring to. The thought is that the State 
considers the statement that GZ made such as “I was screaming for help, 
and no one came” as self-serving. That particular statement was an 
“excited utterance” which is a covered exemption to the Hearsay Rule. 
I believe that the State is referring to statements made on the 
Hannity Show, or any such comments made to family and friends.

Prediction- Granted

Motion to limit/exclude improper opinion evidence

The State seeks to prevent the police or the previous State Attorney 
from providing their opinions as to why GZ was not charged, 
immediately after the event. They cite that in Florida “witnesses 
opinions” as to the guilt or innocence of the accused are not admissible. 

This motion again seems to be aimed at the law enforcement personnel 
and SA Wolfinger, to limit testimony for the lack of charges following 
the incident. Not sure what is the State trying to limit here, the 
release of GZ without charges are well-known, as are the reasons for 
that. The State might be trying to prevent or limit the scope of the 
testimony of SPD officers that there was not enough evidence for a 
charge, and that this was the consensus within the department and the 
local State’s Attorney office.  Thereby preventing any testimony as 
to why they felt that way, and undermine the State’s case. The 
State might also be trying to prevent testimony that implies that there 
was undue pressure on the police to make an arrest against their 
determination from outside parties.

The police only have the power to arrest, which they did, at which time 
the evidence gathered that night did not prove sufficient to hold GZ at 
which time he was released.  Only the State’s Attorney can charge a 
person with a crime, which they could have done if they felt that the 
police was wrong in their assessment. That neither felt the evidence 
warranted an arrest should be admissible. I think the State knows this 
but wants to limit the discussion. The SPD and SA are not just ordinary 
witnesses, it is their duty to opine how the law applies and to make 
determinations based on that, personal opinions aside, testimony should 
be allowed.

Prediction-Denied

Motion in limine regarding prior criminal history

The State seeks to suppress GZ lack of criminal history, as mentioning 
this is an improper way to introduce character or reputation evidence. 
This is a change from the prosecution which for many hearings would 
bring up GZ’s prior arrest, as proof of both criminal past and violent 
nature. Introducing this at trial could open the window for testimony 
about TM’s own criminal activities.  It could also open the door for GZ 
to introduce further rebuttal testimony about his general character and 
reputation, to contrast that of TM.

Not mentioning GZ past arrest is a minor concession but it has big 
dividends for the State as it keeps the Defense from introducing both 
evidence damaging to TM regarding his general character, but it also 
prevents good character references from being introduced this way by 
the Defense. 

Prediction-Granted

Motion to Compel Discovery

The State wants the Defense discovery turned in. This motion is very 
broad and non-specific, the State would need something more specific 
for the Judge to rule on.

Prediction-Denied

State’s Response to Evidentiary Hearing Request

The State does not want a Frye Hearing conducted regarding the voice 
experts. The State contends that a Frye hearing is not needed as the 
experts used accepted methodology to come their conclusions. The 
techniques are not new or novel; as such no hearing is needed. 
This is not accurate as Frye hearings are sometimes used in cases 
where accepted techniques are used in unusual circumstances.  The 
911 recording with the screams is one of those special circumstances, 
as the voices trying to be identified are from a low quality 
recording from a cell phone conversation, interspersed by ambient 
noise, the 911 caller, the 911 operator and a TV on the background. 

In addition the results the 3 State’s experts, the FBI, 
Harnsberger/Hollien, and Alan R. Reich are contradictory, and 
inconclusive.

Prediction-Denied

Final tally 5 granted, 4 denied.

In conclusion, the motions make clear that the State is well aware of

Trayvon Martin’s past drug use, criminal activity, school issues, lack of

violent history from George Zimmerman, and most important of all, that

the events as described by GZ are more that probable.  In order to

counter these facts, the State is trying to paint a completely different

picture of Trayvon Martin, hiding his activities during that day and in

his past. The State is doing this, while at the same time denying the

defense’s ability to put up a defense. The State is trying to prevent the

Defense from rectifying the record, regarding both GZ and TM, giving

the jury an inaccurate picture on which to determine the guilt or

innocence of GZ. This is a shameful abuse of state power, it is my

earnest hope that they fail.  Trial is set to begin June 10th.

May 14, 2013 – Open Thread/ Zimmerman Case

The State trying to shore up its case,

Nettles has done a great job of breaking down the 9 motions the State filed last Friday. In addition the State released the 16th discovery, which consisted of experts reports trying to identify who was screaming in the 911 call.

The first report by Harry Hollien PhD and James D. Harnsberger PhD from Forensic Communication Associates both are highly credentialed with lots of experience. Despite the cries on the 911 call being deemed “minimum-to-marginal material for identification purposes”, the authors picked 6 “screams” to analyze. It concludes Martin likely made the first two screams and Zimmerman the last two screams, well sort of:

“…While the evidence suggests that Mr. Martin produced the first two utterances and Mr. Zimmerman made the last two, the confidence level for these relationships is not very robust.”

Then there is the method used by them to arrive at their conclusions. The report also states that the analysis method used, “aural-percerptual” is “somewhat subjective” and subject to errors. Translation: It’s not science, we made an educated guess and the screams that were the most clearly heard, those before the gunshot were made by Zimmerman. Strike One for BDLR.

The second report is kind of hard to explain, as it seems like a farce, if it was not so serious. The expert Alan R. Reich Ph.D. can, unlike, the other experts identify 2 voices, one older male one younger but he can make out phrases that are spoken. Combine that with the extraneous commentary make his report seem more a report for a tabloid show than expert testimony. For instance;

“For example, approximately one second after the start of CALL3, Mr. Zimmerman makes a seemingly religious proclamation, “These shall be.” His speech is characterized by the low pitch and exaggerated pitch contour reminiscent of an evangelical preacher or carnivalBarker”

I could go on but the bottom line is that his analysis boils down to 2 voices one younger one older and TM is the younger of the two. Strike 2 for BDLR. Now add the FBI report which could not determine who was screaming, strike 3 BDLR, yer out!

The motions make clear that the is State is determined to hide anything about TM past, his drug use, suspensions, criminal activity, online activity, anything that will put him in a bad light, and can lead someone to think that he could start a fight. In other words they want to preserve the angelic TM image, that was working so well for them, at the beginning.

I don’t know at what point the State realized that the Narrative as is what being told was not accurate, or if they knew all along. What I do know is that the State knows now, and probably has for some time. That they have continued with this farce of a case, despite the lack of evidence and obvious amount of reasonable doubt, is telling. It is well past the time the State admits to their own mistakes;

“The wise know their weakness too well to assume infallibility; and he who knows most, knows best how little he knows.” – Thomas Jefferson

The State appears to have gone into this case with preconceived motions, GZ was guilty, and has been working ever since to try to prove that. They have fallen short, if anything the discovery process has made it clear, that Zimmerman was right. Trial starts June 10th.

kNOw Truth, kNOw Justice

SerinoWill we see the Lead Investigator, Chris Serino, take the stand in the George Zimmerman trial?  In reading the slew of motions filed by the State of Florida late on Friday, May 10th, one might think we won’t.

Headlines yesterday read the Prosecutor doesn’t want the trial to be about Trayvon Martin’s past troubles.  That of course would be unfair to the defendant, in a case where self-defense is being claimed.  The media, without any discovery being disclosed in March and April of 2012 reported repeatedly that Trayvon Martin, the young child, was a victim of a wannabe cop.  Will the Judge help the State continue to portray Trayvon Martin as the innocent victim that night?  We have seen zero evidence of what the State alleges in its Probable Cause Affidavit.

Since the State’s discovery started its slow roll out in May of 2012, it became clear that George Zimmerman was assaulted by this…

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