Zimmerman Case: The Prosecution Rests/Bad Case makes Bad Law

The Prosecution in the George Zimmerman‘s trial rested its case.  While much of the analysts time has been devoted to this and the testimony of Sybrina Fulton, Jahvaris Fulton and the ME Shiping Bao who closed out the prosecution’s case, not much mentioned is made of the argument presented by the Prosecution to rebut the Judgement of Acquittal that was asked by Mark O’Mara and the defense team.

JOA’s are rare in cases where murder is the charge, so the Judge’s decision was not unexpected, some legal analysts had suggested that the Judge might do away with the top charge of Murder 2 and proceed with the lesser included charge of Manslaughter.  Judge Debra Nelson did neither, rather after 1 hour and half of legal argument and several case citations she made her ruling in 11 seconds.  To those that have followed the case for a while this is just another ruling the Judge rendered against the Defense, that she seemed prepared to rule before the Motion and Arguments had even been heard. O’Mara cited at least 10 cases on the applicable law and the Judge dismiss it summarily.

But is not about O’Mara great performance or that to many legal observers he was right on the law, I want to talk about what the prosecution, SA Mantei said to counter prevailing law.  I’ll quote Andrew Branca, an attorney from Mass. who is following the case for the legal blog, Legal Insurrection;

Mantei provided the State’s counter to the motion for a directed verdict in a manner that cannot readily be described in language suitable for a family accessible blog. To say it was histrionic, lacking in factual evidence, and rife with abject fabrications, would be to put the matter too kindly.”

You can read the rest HERE:

You can also read Christopher Dillingham article on why he is George Zimmerman, another attorney that provides his insights on the case, HERE:

SA Mantei argued that pointing a loaded gun at someone is in effect as sign ill will and depraved mind.  To quote “shooting someone it by itself on the face of it of ill will” he continued by saying “He (the defendant) is not saying that at the time he pulled the trigger he had a benevolent intention.”  What! Is the prosecution saying that all self-defense laws are wrong, that if I am being attacked and I grab a rock nearby and defend myself, I am guilty of Murder in the second degree?  Mantei goes on with the histrionics, ” There is only one reason why you squeeze the trigger at someone’s heart, that’s because you mean to kill!!!! or you don’t care.”  Well I could think of another reason right away and that is that I don’t want to be bludgeon to death on the concrete sidewalk, after I have screamed my lungs to death asking for help!

SA Mantei continued by saying “he thought he knew Trayvon Martin” ” as these assholes that get away” as “these fucking punks” this means that GZ showed ill.  Well take me to jail, for I have had similar thoughts about the punks that rob, steal, vandalize and assault other people, in some cases for no reason at all except that doing so constitutes fun for them.

The fact that GZ thought enough of his civic duty to his community to stop on the way to the grocery store, to call the police, to maintain visual contact, to try to do the same by leaving his vehicle, IN THE RAIN, that is also proof of ill will and a depraved mind.  He alludes to GZ trying to “grab TM” yet he did not present any proof of that.  If GZ did and I am not saying he did actually the evidence is that he didn’t, has the SA even heard of citizen’s arrests, I guess for the prosecution it is better to let an assailant or criminal go free that to have a citizen attempt to detain or even help the police by maintaining surveillance.

For direct evidence, SA Mantei raises his voice and says indignantly that GZ went on the Nationally televised Sean Hannity Show, and he lied! What did GZ lied about, well, GZ was asked if he knew about the SYG laws and he said he didn’t. The prosecution is not claiming he changed his story significantly or claimed that it was not him doing the shooting, no he said he did not know about the SYG laws, and the prosecution brought 2 former professors that said that, while the SYG laws were mentioned they are not part of the texts or the curriculum.  These are classes GZ had taken several years prior in 2010, it is possible that GZ forgot about those particular days when SYG was discussed? GZ got an A on one of the classes so I guess that makes him a murderer.  In the end why does it matter, this is not, NOT a SYG case and the law has not bearing on the case.  GZ took some criminology classes his career was to become a prosecutor, ironic isn’t.  I guess GZ really must be out of his mind, but Mantei did not mention that little tidbit.  Of course he show part of another homework assignment where GZ says he wanted to be a Federal Marshall so “he wants to hunt fugitives” and “make sure they don’t get away.”   Mantei say these are direct statements and evidence, but evidence of what?  That GZ wanted to follow in the foot steps of his father who retired as a Magistrate in VA or those of his uncle who after serving in the Army with the rank of Command Sergeant Major,(ask anyone who has served in the Army how many Command Sergeant Major the know) is now a Sheriff’s Deputy in Orange County.

To SA Mantei and the Prosecution that is direct evidence of GZ’s depraved mind. I have to ask these prosecutors since when is wanting to be in Law Enforcement a crime, one worth 30 years of your life behind bars. Yet, this is exactly what the prosecution  is implying, is you study criminology and want to be a LEO don’t be accused of a crime because it will be used against you, whether it is relevant or not.

The Prosecution does not stop there so they go from the ridiculous to flat-out lies.  SA Mantei claims that Ms. Sudeika, Ms. Bahadoor, Ms. Mora and or course Ms. Jeantel all testified to a chase taking place, which is complete fabrication.  Ms. Bahadoor at most thought she saw some movement from left to right, perhaps figure(s) and only on the day of the trial did she think this, Ms. Mora saw figures in the distance, she was about 3 times further away that John Good, standing and later on the ground but it was to dark make anything out, Ms. Sudeika (who might have lied about being an Olympian) her account corroborates GZ for the most part, leaving the testimony of Ms. Jeantel who did not witness anything but was an ear-witness and was the only that could be said that claimed a chase had taken place but she was not there and you can put whatever weight you want on her testimony. To SA Mantei, the facts or the testimony don’t matter goes on to say;

“One does not follow, confront someone and not do it unless you have some spite or ill will towards them”

God forbid if I am lost and run up to Mr. Mantei, he might shoot me, because that is the only way one would do that.

As for circumstantial evidence this is what SA Mantei says that GZ always prefaces his calls to the police mentioning that he is with the Neighborhood Watch, that he is very proud of the program but the one time GZ came in contact with a suspect he does not identify himself as part of the NW.  To the prosecution GZ is damn if he does and damn if he doesn’t,  just a few minutes earlier SA Mantei was used the fact that  GZ left his vehicle in the rain as proof of ill will and depraved mind because he did not follow the NW procedures and now that GZ did follow procedure by not confronting or speaking to a suspect he is now claiming that this is circumstantial evidence against him.  As and ironic twist the guy that was caught who was charged with some of the burglaries in the community, was caught because some guys that were working on the stucco in the community called the police and followed him until the cops could apprehend them. The very same thing that GZ was doing.

He closes with some more allegations that fit more in a pro-Trayvon Martin site than a legal argument in a court of law and mockingly called GZ :

“The luckiest most cool-headed marksman in the world”

He continues by saying that even if he shot TM in some sort of self-defense, that does not end the inquiry, HUH?  He backtracks a little and admits that no injuries are needed for GZ to fear for his life or great bodily injury.  I want to go back to his previous statement is GZ acted in self-defense that DOES end the inquiry.  Not to mention that inquiries should be done prior to filling charges, that is their job and their responsibility.  Trials are not fact-finding, fishing expeditions to play with.  Charges should be filed against a defendant when the inquiry has determined that a crime had been committed and that there is evidence for that inquiry to continue to trial.  If their was doubt as to the guilt of the defendant it should not be proper for the prosecution to proceed, it should be criminal.

SA Mantei tried to make hay out of the contention that the Defense’s only hypothesis was Self-Defense I think O’Mara said best:

There would not be anymore, there does not have to be another one; This is not a quantification but a qualification of the analysis of the evidence”

Mark O’Mara took umbrage at the suggestion that SA Mantei made during his argument that GZ was somehow holding on to his hoodie a common theme in the pro-Trayvon sites by pointing out that there was no evidence whatsoever that this happened before GZ fired that shot,  that the prosecution was grasping at straws but had no evidence to prove it.

In my opinion the prosecution utterly failed at proving Murder 2 at most the prosecution raised some doubts about whether GZ could be guilty of Manslaughter, but failed miserably at disproving self-defense.  Perhaps the most tragic thing is that there are so many willing to believe the prosecution proved its case.  No amount of evidence or argument will change some of these people minds but they are not judging the evidence or at least not looking at the evidence objectively, they are projecting their own biases on the case.  To gun haters,  GZ will always be guilty for carrying a loaded weapon, to some GZ was the adult so he should bear a higher responsibility, others will view GZ as a vigilante,  to some in the black community GZ will always be white and as such, guilty, finally there are those that feel that taking a life no matter the circumstances is wrong, but this case of not about them or their thoughts and feelings this is about a young man who was trying to do good for his family and community, if that is wrong in America today, then we really need to look at ourselves in the mirror.

As O”Mara said in court:

This man should not have to face the jury anymore than he has already

 

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5 Comments

  1. Great recap Boricufudd.

    It’s mind-boggling to me how many in the legal profession look the other way or try to come up with statements about how strong a case the prosecution has presented.

    In watching Mantei’s argument to the court I was struck by the things the state continues to say with no proof. I guess I can expect a repeat of the baseless allegations in the state’s close.

    If there aren’t consequences for what we are witnessing here, defendants are in big trouble in the state of Florida.

      • I recall one of the lawyers tweeting out during Mr. O’Mara’s impassioned argument for a JOA that there is nothing worse than arguing for something you know you don’t have a hope in hell of getting.

        He said it was the worse feeling in the world. I continued to watch Mr. O’Mara and I’d swear in listening to his arguments, he believed he had a shot at getting it.

        One of the TV personalities said his argument would be taught in law schools. He was highly impressed with the well rounded and very sound arguments Mr. O’Mara made.

        Most seemed to think the Judge at that point should have taken murder 2 off the table.

        She didn’t and we add that decision to the pile of issues for appeal.

  2. I apologize for not commenting sooner. I saw you commenting on our reg. blogs but I myself found I have been locked out in the past few days, with no commenting abilities. I noticed many of ourvregulars are not commenting. How weird?

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