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Valerie Rao, medical examiner at George Zimmerman trial, 7-2-2013
Jacksonville medical examiner Valerie Rao.
During testimony Tuesday afternoon in a Seminole County, Florida, courtroom, a medical examiner testified that injuries suffered by George Zimmerman in a fight with Trayvon Martin before he shot the teenager to death 16 months ago were "insignificant." Zimmerman is on trial for second-degree murder. He has said he followed Martin into the Sanford, Florida, gated community of modest homes—where Martin was staying with his father and father's girlfriend—because of what he claimed was suspicious behavior, was ambushed by him and beaten so badly that he feared for his life:
Dr. Valerie Rao, the Jacksonville-based medical examiner for the state's fourth district, testified that she has reviewed the evidence in the case.

Zimmerman's injuries, she says, "were not life threatening... very insignificant."

She testified that Zimmerman's head injuries were consistent with being stuck against concrete just once, but said in cross [examination] that it could also be consistent with more strikes than that. She conceded that a number of scenarios defense attorney Mark O'Mara described, involving additional blows, were possible.

Zimmerman's injuries are an issue in the trial because they go directly to his claims of self defense. Zimmerman has said to police that after Martin knocked him to the ground with a first punch, the teenager continued striking him 25 or 30 times and repeatedly smashed his head against a concrete sidewalk.

Please continue reading below the fold for more on the Zimmerman trial.

On Monday, jurors watched a videotaped "reenactment" of the shooting with Zimmerman walking officers through what he claims happened that February day in 2012. They also heard testimony from police officers who interviewed Zimmerman about his actions, the audiotapes of those interviews and the conclusions of two police investigators, Doris Singleton and Chris Serino. Thus the jurors got to hear the words of someone they are not likely to hear on the stand in the courtroom, Zimmerman himself. They, of course, won't be hearing anything at all from Trayvon Martin.

When court convened Tuesday morning, in an effort to repair damage caused by Serino's testimony Monday, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda convinced Judge Debra Nelson to strike from the record the detective's Monday statement that he found Zimmerman's story about the shooting to be credible. Nelson declared that to be "an improper statement" and instructed the jurors to disregard it, no easy matter after they had had three-fourths of a day to absorb it fully. The jurors are sequestered for the duration of the trial.

Whatever benefit might derive from that successful move by the prosecution, de la Rionda's failure to pursue openings is one of the major frustrations of the trial so far. It was obvious from the taped-recorded "challenge tactics" that were part of Serino's interview with Zimmerman that the detective wasn't buying his story, at least not all of it. But de la Rionda did far too little to explore the reason for Serino's doubts about Zimmerman's interview replies despite how long the questioning continued.

Before the lunch break Tuesday, jurors heard several more hours of testimony from Serino, and from Mark Osterman, a federal air marshal who called Zimmerman "the best friend I ever had." Zimmerman and his wife Shellie lived with Osterman and his family for a while after the shooting and Osterman has written a book about what happened that night:

Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda questioned Osterman on what he wrote in his book about what Zimmerman told him during a car ride hours about [sic] the shooting. The state focused in particular on a passage of the book in which Osterman said Zimmerman told him he wrestled his gun away from Trayvon, who had a grip on it, before shooting him.

That detail doesn't match Zimmerman's other accounts, and the state is expected to put on testimony later that Trayvon's DNA was not found on the gun. Records show none of the teen's DNA was found on the 9mm handgun's grip, trigger, slide or holster.

Under questioning on both days, here's Serino:

• Could what Zimmerman did be seen as profiling? "It could be construed as such, yes," Serino said. Judge Benson has forbidden the prosecution from using the term "racial profiling."

• Inconsistencies in Zimmerman's story? "Nothing major" changed. Serino said. But de la Rionda did not ask specifics on that score. Did Serino see a discrepancy between what Zimmerman first alleged that Martin had initially said to him—"Hey man, you got a problem?"—compared with the later far more aggressive sound of "What the fuck's your problem, homey?” We don't know because the prosecution didn't ask.

• Was Zimmerman's calling Trayvon a "fucking punk" an indication of ill-will and spite? That question was an apparent attempt to touch on one of the requirements for a conviction for second-degree murder, evidence of a "depraved mind" on the part of the shooter. Serino said: "That is ill-will and spite."

• When Zimmerman said in an interview that he wasn't following Martin or trying to "catch him." Serino told him that the behavior he was describing was, in fact, following. Zimmerman has said previously that he just happened to be "going in the same direction" as Martin.

• Yet Serino said he didn't believe that Zimmerman was badly hurt or his claim that Martin punched him 25 or 30 times. Zimmerman also said in an interview with police investigator Doris Singleton who was on the stand Monday that he had called for help “maybe 50 times.”

One issue that continues to get eye-rolls from many observers outside the court are Zimmerman's accounts of what Martin allegedly said to him during the confrontation between the two. Much of it sounds like a bad Hollywood scriptwriter's version of what might be said under the circumstances being described.

Also on Tuesday, the jurors viewed a video of an interview Fox News host Sean Hannity conducted with Zimmerman last year as part of the prosecution's efforts to show inconsistencies in what Zimmerman has variously said regarding what happened.

Because so many state witnesses have answered questions in ways that give at least some credibility to Zimmerman and his version of what happened, many observers—whatever their perspective was before the trial began—are now expressing doubt about the prosecution's wisdom of charging him with second-degree murder instead of manslaughter, which requires a much lower threshold of proof.

Much of the reason for that criticism is not because the prosecution has an inherently weak case, but rather because the defense attorney who started his opening statement with a lame knock-knock joke has proved a good deal more adept at coaxing answers helpful to his client from cross-examinations of state witnesses than has de la Rionda who keeps letting answers to his own questions slip by without enough useful follow-ups.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by Trial Watch and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (157+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    navajo, sceptical observer, Trix, wilderness voice, DefendOurConstitution, Vita Brevis, indubitably, TomP, MartyM, mn humanist, LNK, JaxDem, JML9999, Kysen, emeraldmaiden, cassandraX, Mr Robert, 88kathy, kevinpdx, BlueDragon, LiberalMegan, Desert Rose, IndyinDelaware, Buckeye Nut Schell, Habitat Vic, joanbrooker, psyched, ajr111240, tin woodswoman, LilithGardener, Glen The Plumber, SteelerGrrl, Brecht, belinda ridgewood, bjedward, Kristina40, doroma, allergywoman, sawgrass727, gramofsam1, Fury, rubyr, ItsSimpleSimon, Siri, Lost and Found, Youffraita, Land of Enchantment, slowbutsure, side pocket, ruscle, auron renouille, trumpeter, SanFernandoValleyMom, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, avsp, Grabber by the Heel, rb137, Polly Syllabic, sb, Railfan, xxdr zombiexx, Mary Mike, ColoTim, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, mamamedusa, HappyinNM, renzo capetti, Vetwife, moviemeister76, YaNevaNo, WisVoter, kml, zerelda, Gentle Giant, native, celdd, DRo, wishingwell, PorridgeGun, Mayfly, collardgreens, Portlaw, Mylies Voice, countwebb, emal, mjbleo, BlackQueen40, DEMonrat ankle biter, ramara, Heart of the Rockies, hulibow, harrije, historys mysteries, JoanMar, livjack, Nowhere Man, NJpeach, 3goldens, salmo, Ice Blue, BeadLady, skyounkin, shanikka, rb608, Its a New Day, Tonedevil, badlands, Justina, brook, paradise50, CA Nana, smileycreek, Debby, Joieau, stellaluna, emsprater, Joy of Fishes, rbird, bakeneko, Matt Z, adrianrf, susakinovember, worldlotus, greengemini, blueoasis, thomask, Eric Nelson, Lily O Lady, JamieG from Md, vcmvo2, eeff, a gilas girl, EdinStPaul, retLT, brentbent, urnumbersix, Steve In DC, Remediator, jonathan94002, Julia Grey, SharonColeman, DonnaSC, texasmom, implicate order, VTCC73, Cat Servant, happymisanthropy, Jeff Y, helpImdrowning, annetteboardman, greenearth, Tim DeLaney, Denise Oliver Velez, a2nite, pipercity1, oortdust, Plox

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:15:55 PM PDT

  •  I haven't been following the trial closely... (29+ / 0-)

    but from your write-up, it sounds like the prosecutor has a lot more in common with Marcia Clark (O.J. Simpson prosecutor) than Jack McCoy ("Law & Order" prosecutor).

  •  I don't know where he got punched 25 or 30 times (48+ / 0-)

    but it wasn't the face. Even the impressions from a slap will linger for thirty minutes to an hour.

    I've never understood why Zimmerman got close enough for a physical confrontation to occur in the first place.  

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:29:36 PM PDT

    •  Punched in his sense of shame, perhaps? After all, (5+ / 0-)

      said sense of shame appears to be grievously injured.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:18:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If my recollection serves, in the tape of (8+ / 0-)

      Mr. Zimmerman, he states that the suspect (his words) came out from behind bushes and surprised him.

      Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin, 1759

      by Prav duh on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:26:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Getting close enough (6+ / 0-)

      I've never understood why he got out of his car.

      If he had actually been attacked, though, you'd be surprised how fast someone can cover ground. A standard self-defense education exercise is to time someone with a simulated knife crossing 20 feet from a standing start. Less than two seconds.

      In other words, if you ever are faced with a dangerous person at a distance, react knowing that the distance could go away very quickly.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:27:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (24+ / 0-)

      How the fuck is it "self defense" to start a fight with a teenager, then pull out a gun and kill him???

      I don't care if Treyvon Martin flew a 360 degree flying karate kick to George Zimmerman's face.  Martin had every right to defend himself from Zimmerman's indefensible Dirty Harry confrontation.

      •  did he start the fight? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soros, WillR, brooklyn137

        what evidence do you have for that?

        •  provocation means your question is irrelevant (6+ / 0-)
          •  is following provocation? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WillR, janemas

            A few weeks back my GF walked home from the subway,
            2 young men started following her down the street.
            She changed sides, they changed sides. She changed sides again, they changed sides.

            Would she then be entitled to shoot these two to death?

            •  yes it can. i've been through this with others (6+ / 0-)

              including citing cases in which the courts said that chasing after someone or tracking them down can be a part of provocation. It could be argue some parts of those case were factually different, but what was clear was that at least part of the courts reasoning in those cases was the act of pursuit.

              provocation can be either an actual illegal act or the threat of one

              Following in that context can be inferred where the person refuses to identify himsefl and is acting hostile towards you etc

              For example serino testified that the defendant was likely following the victim and we know from various testimony that the victim was fearful of the defendant and from statements in videos that the defedant was not similarly scared of the victim, etc.

            •  Was you GF afraid? (0+ / 0-)

              I would submit that, on the surface, changing sides of the street is an action based out of fear.  The followers moving with her are an aggressive act.

              If they then acted more aggressively, she is clearly entitled to defend herself in my home state.

              But, we don't have subways or a nanny mayor, so ymmv.

            •  Of course not (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WillR, andalusi, patbahn, coffeetalk

              For one thing, you should question the knowledge of anyone telling you "provocation" alone somehow negates self defence. If I say "Fuck you, your mother is ugly, what are you going to do about it", I've certainly provoked you. But that doesn't give you the right to attack me physically.

              Perhaps Zimmerman did "provoke" Martin that night. Perhaps Martin saw following him, and questioning him, as a "provocation". But, under the law, he'd have to do something more than merely follow and question him (such as take a swing, attempt to restrain him, brandish his gun...some overt act) for Martin to be justified in using physical force.

              Anyone who tells you otherwise does not understand the law.

              Black Holes Suck.

              by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:51:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Personal Space? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Janet 707

                Under the law, if a person who has been following you comes close enough to you to hit you or grab you, do you have to wait for them to do that, before you defend yourself?  If we believe Rachel (and I do) that Trayvon was trying to avoid a confrontation, then it was Zimmerman who came close enough to Trayvon for an altercation to start while Trayvon was still talking to her. It seems like he had to have entered Trayvon's personal space. Isn't that enough of a threat, even if Zimmerman didn't lay hands on Trayvon first?

                •  Well (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Under the law, if a person who has been following you comes close enough to you to hit you or grab you, do you have to wait for them to do that, before you defend yourself?
                  Frankly, yes.

                  If someone follows you, gets in your face, and says "What are you doing here", that, alone, doesn't give you licence to attack them.

                  If they follow you, get in your face, say "What are you doing here", and then grab you, or push you, or show a weapon, or some other overt act, then, yes, you can use force to repel.

                  So no, you don't he license to take a swing at someone for getting in your face.  

                  Black Holes Suck.

                  by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:06:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is not what the case law says. n/t (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    vcmvo2, janemas
                    •  if you are quoting vila (0+ / 0-)

                      Vila v. State 74 So.3d 1110 (5th Dist. 2011

                      The victim testified that Vila opened the door to his truck, reached inside, pulled him out, threw him to the ground, and began hitting him with a bicycle tire." The jury convicted the defendant of "burglary of a conveyance," and so the Court of Appeal concluded that the jury believed the victim's testimony on this point. The Court of Appeal found that the defendant's conduct of pulling the victim out of the car "initially provoked" the incident, and that this meant that the defendant was not entitled to claim "self-defense" to the charge of battery
                      you are misquoting it's findings.
                      •  Yeah (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        patbahn, coffeetalk

                        He doesn't understand any of the cases he's quoting. He's quite convinced he does, however, and seems fairly immune to facts.

                        Black Holes Suck.

                        by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:33:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  i'm not a lawyer like you Pi Li (0+ / 0-)

                          but i've read criminal law.

                          I think the whole TM Z thing will depend upon
                          who makes a case for who started the fight.

                          Z has the benefit of defending and so far has
                          1) a record of calling 911, which is consistent with being lawful

                          2) no eyewitnesses to the start of the fight

                          3) injuries that are at least consistent with his story.

                          •  I actually disagree, (0+ / 0-)

                            because there is significant evidence that regardless of how the fight started (and personally, I think GZ did grab TM first), that TM tried his best to remove himself from the fight to get to safety before he was killed.

                            The fight moved 47 feet in the direction of what would have been safety for TM.  His body ended up 47 feet away from where GZ said the fight began, from where the "debris field" started.

                            Not 47 feet towards the safety of his truck for GZ, but 47 feet in the opposite direction, down the lane towards safety for TM.

                            If TM tried to end the fight and leave, it doesn't matter who started the fight.  GZ cannot use self defense.

                          •  well if that's true (0+ / 0-)

                            it's not good for Z.

                      •  No, that case I cited when (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        I was told that escalation doesn't matter by CoffeTalk

                        One of the cases that i cited re provocation and pursuit was this one, in which, part of the courts description of provocation includes pursuit

                        Here's the one case that I cited

                        ". But the facts believed by the jury point too strongly to a deliberate pursuit by appellant, after the original difficulty had ended and the parties had separated. The law is quite clear that one may not provoke a difficulty and having done so act under the necessity produced by the difficulty, then kill his adversary and justify the homicide under the plea of self defense.

                        I dont' hae a problem being wrong, if its proven. that's not what Pi does. He simply claims authority and says I am wrong. that's logically flawed. that's not the way discussing legal issues work. You don't get to just pretend you are right without citation.  this isn't CNN where he's a legal pundit talking out of ass.

                        Pursuit wasn't the only element, but it was the element that was most critically linked in time to the event that was the subject of the case cited.

                        Pursuit isn't the only element here either. we know from  witnesses that they heard an argument, we have testimony that zimmerman suspected something was up with the victim, etc.

                        The problem with Pi is not that I am certain that this will fly, but that he's certain that he knows that imminent threat is limited to what he's saying

                        There's nothing in the case law or statutue that so limits the concept as he's trying to claim here.

                        •  i just don't think mixon is on point (0+ / 0-)

                          it's on point for the law, because, it's been long standing that someone who initiates a fight cannot claim self defense to escalate, they can only claim self defense against an escalation.

                          In Mixon, you had a man in a jeep, drive home, get a gun, then go back, hunt for the Victim and start an altercation
                          and shoot the victim.

                          But here, we have Z following TM, a fight breaksout and then
                          Tm is fatally shot.

                          who started the fight will be the key issue, and i'm not sure the state can prove that.

                      •  by the way (0+ / 0-)

                        i've pointed out this case to him several times, and his response as now is to talk around the citation rather than address it by saying I don't understand the cases cited

                        IN the case, the court says the earlier altercation was clearly over, the relevant element for them seemed to be the pursuit.  yet Coffee and Pi (who strangely followed around endorsing Coffee and doing what he's doing right now with you which is claiming I am wrong without directly responding with his own citation).

                        I could be wrong,b ut I am not being presented with a case for why I am wrong. I am just being told that I don't understand the plain language of the case that I cite.

              •  I cited case law and have (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                asked another lawyer online his opinion on this, and he agrees that there is the potential to prove provocation under the circumstances here

                The test for provocation is like defense as far as I can tell from the case law in FL

                When I cited the case, you and other person pretty much just said its not a factor although the case said pursuit was part of the reason they found provocation

                If you want to question my knowledge, cite some cases that say I am wrong rather than statute that you take out of context of case law

                Instead, what ylu keep doing is attacking my statement as per se wrong

                The question is whether the victim may have reasonably believed (again as far as I can undersrand from the law) that the threat was going to lead to an unlaw acrt against him

                That was the subject matter on Friday of my point about immiment threat.

                Does following, plus refusing to identify one self plus arguing with a victim,e tc, indicate imminent threat?

                you say no.

                I say yes.

                I dont buy your argument under the case law that this is a cut and dry issue of no provocation.

                The issue is whether a reasonable person would feel threatened based on Zimmerman's behavior.  That's not limited to verbal statements or actual illegal acts. It can and does include behavior that indicates imminent threat.

                If you disagree, cite case law that says following along with the other evidence (which you ignore, like testimony that they argued, defendant's admission that he didn't identity himself) etc cannot represent provocation

                •  if you are citing mixon (0+ / 0-)

                  the fact pattern is different,

                  in mixon, the appelant got into a altercation with the victim,
                  drove home got a pistol, chased him down the road, got into another altercation and then shot him.

                  in Zimmermans case, an armed man is following a Individual
                  a fight erupts,  that is not mixon.

              •  I concur following isn't provocation (0+ / 0-)

                yet it's surprising how many people
                think it entitled TM to engage in a fight.

                I think Z needed to do something more
                to allow TM to then use force.

                Who used force first, i'm not sure and i doubt the
                evidence will show it.

                •  To this I would say... (0+ / 0-)
                  asked another lawyer online his opinion on this, and he agrees that there is the potential to prove provocation under the circumstances here
                  apart from the evidence that proves Zimmerman was trailing Trayvon while walking back to his father's place of residence from the store, the defense has provided nothing but theories on GZ behalf.  Not one piece of evidence proves Trayvon jumped on GZ for pleasure.  All we have is the killer's flimsy statements against evidence that does not concur.  

                  All of GZ's friends, including the cops who want to believe GZ is innocent, do so based on "belief" and nothing more.

            •  I would say (0+ / 0-)

              absolutely yes. They are clearly following her with malicious intent. Fuck 'em.

        •  you know, trayvon was a minor. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          law doesn't take very kindly to minors being followed, or touched in any way.

          Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

          by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:49:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Zimmerman... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

   not being charged with any crime related to Martin being a minor so I don't understand why the fact we have child abuse laws is relevant to any discussion about Zimmerman's case.

            But, since we are off-topic about minors vs. adults...

            Suppose Zimmerman's story is accurate up to the point Zimmerman was on the ground and security videos of the events confirmed the sequence. But Martin had gotten control of Zimmerman's gun and killed Zimmerman instead of the other way around. I hope everyone here would agree that Martin was guilty of murder in this case. In some jurisdictions (I don't know about Florida) Martin would likely have been tried as an adult. So, the adult/minor thing is a bit fuzzy with respect to criminal acts.

            •  has nothing to do with the crime. (0+ / 0-)

              he is being charged with.  it has to do with the fact that trayvon being a minor is an aggravating circumstance here.

              Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

              by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:09:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  How? (0+ / 0-)

                Are adults not allowed to defend themselves against someone less that 17 years, 365 days old? If attacked, must you request the attacker's birth certificate before defending yourself?

                •  he was following a minor. that has nothing to do (0+ / 0-)

                  with any intent of child molestation.  it's that minors aren't as fully equipped to deal with threats and how to ract and judge them.  

                  if zimmerman were to be found on manslaughter, he could get an additional 7 years just for killing a minor, the thinking being he pulled a gun on a minor, he exerted deadly force against a minor.

                  you're being silly in re: the birth certificate.  bad luck to zimmerman for profiling a minor.

                  and zimmerman was not attacked.  i think it will be rather easily demonstrated zimmerman pulled a gun on a minor.

                  murder2 does not carry an aggravation element, but believe me, they're taking trayvon's status as a juvenile into account.

                  Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

                  by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:06:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A minor is the responsibilty... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...of their parent. I agree that legally children are not generally as liable for their actions (although, 17 year old minors can be tried as adults for some serious crimes in most jurisdictions). However, the PARENT is responsible for their actions in many cases. If an unsupervised minor burns down my house in an act of vandalism, guess who I sue -- yep, the parents and I will win (and, if the parents are solvent, I will collect!)

                    So, the logical conclusion of your arguments is that we should be asking here why the parents failed Martin. If he lacked adult judgement, why was he allowed to leave the house and not return before dark on what should have been a trip to the store, yet having not yet returned home a 1/2 hour later than expected the parent(s) didn't worry about it until the next day?

                    Yes, it is sad that Martin's parents failed him miserably, but that is THEIR responsibility, not Zimmerman's. Perhaps they should be on trial for child neglect. (See, that "he was a minor" argument doesn't always work out so well!)

                    I can assure you that my parents would never have failed to notice and act long before I was missing all night when I was still in high school. They took their job as parents seriously and accepted that responsibility before having children.

                    So, perhaps the parents are responsible for his death since the premise seems to be that an impulsive and poorly trained 17 year old did something that he would not have done just less than 12 months later when HE would have been responsible. It was impossible for Zimmerman to to determine if he was 17 or 18 and he treated the minor as an adult when he was attacked. I do have sympathy for Martin, it's fairly obvious that he was not raised well (just the fact that he had been suspended from school for ten days and his mother felt she needed to send him off -- and dad decided it was okay for the kid to be spending time buying snacks then working on the school work he was missing is telling). Again, if I had been suspended from school even for ONE day, I can assure you my parents would have had me on "lock down" and I would have been working harder on schoolwork than if I was in school -- good parenting demands that if a kid is suspended, they will look forward to being able to return to school.

                    As to if he was "attacked" or "profiled" (of course, profiling is completely legal - police do it all the time, someone acting suspiciously is being "profiled" when they are stopped and questioned -- are you implying something more evil than simple profiling?), the jury will decide that. The prosecution has a lot of convincing left -- perhaps they can do it, perhaps not. If not, the political prosecution of Zimmerman is a tragedy just as the failure of Martin's parents is a tragedy.

        •  So what evidence does GZ has that he didn't? (0+ / 0-)

          As far as everyone is concerned, GZ was the one following him and ended up shooting him in the heart, and the boy did not have any of GZ's dna on him.  

          •  Z doesn't have the burden of proof (0+ / 0-)

            the state has to prove everything.

            Z can sit there wearing a stormtrooper suit and shouting "WHite power" if the state doeesn't prove it's case
            it can be dismissed at the close of the states case.

      •  Sounds like you have all the facts and do (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        patbahn, brooklyn137

        not need the trail to proceed.  Remember, innocent - until proven guilty.  The burden is on the state to prove.

        •  I don't think that's correct... (5+ / 0-)

          ...Innocent until proven guilty. George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin that's not in question. The question is whether or not the scenario given by Zimmerman is credible and in fact matches the many, many versions he's given.

          •  The state is trying to prove his guilt... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            soros, brooklyn137

            In terms of whether he acted within the law or not.  He claims self defense (within the law), the state is saying that he should be found guilty of murder (outside the law).  So, and I apologize if this upsets you, he is innocent until proven guilty.  That is what makes our justice system the best in the world.  A jury of the accused peers will decide.

            •  I'm not upset, I disagree (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The state's case IS about the murder but because GZ has spent quite a bit of time explaining why he did what he did, the jury must believe everything he says. If he lies about one thing, then everything he says is in question.

              The facts of the case are lining up with the scenario that the prosecution is putting forth. I totally disagree that

              So, and I apologize if this upsets you, he is innocent until proven guilty.  That is what makes our justice system the best in the world.

              That is simply not real life. Ask anybody who has been exonerated after spending years in jail for something they didn't do. I also believe that the point of the myriad of diaries being written was that we are to 'discuss' the case and present our take on it.

              •  You're entitled to your opinion, of course (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                But Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law. This is a fact whether you agree, or disagree with it.

                When and if the jury finds him guilty, then he'll be guilty.

                Black Holes Suck.

                by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:38:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am following evidence (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sukeyna, HappyinNM, worldlotus

                  nowhere have I stated that his guilt is based on my feelings. Because the evidence is shaping up to say that the versions of GZ story are not credible means that the jury would be correct in saying that GZ is guilty. This is a case where the only other person there is dead so you must rely on the evidence and the defendant's story of what happened. If the story is not plausible then the jury can and should convict him.

                  There was never a mention that his guilt was based on a preconceived notion. However, the statement that the US has the best legal system in the world because you have a presumption of innocence, I disagree with. That's not a fact, that's an American myth. I can disagree with that statement because it has been proven not to be true in real everyday life.  

                  •  American myth....? (0+ / 0-)

                    OK, if that is your opinion.  I bet a lot of people looking in from the outside would disagree with that.  It is not perfect (but nothing is or ever will be), but it is best system going (past or present).

                  •  Pi Li: the presumption of innocence is hardly... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...unique to the US legal system!

                    cf: United Kingdom, for instance; where much of the core of Common Law was copied from, for instance!

                    and today, beyond the circs of this immediate case, the fact that:

                    * virtually alone in the developed world, the US continues to cling to its barbaric retention of the death penalty, despite the ample objective evidence of its manifest failings;

                    * the US Govt continues to employ transparent gross distortions of legal terms to magically reinterpret a non-existent "legality" into being, via sheer chutzpah (bolstered by slavish media & public conformity) so as to "permit":
                       - indefinite imprisonment without trial [Gitmo]
                       - the promulgation of immunity dispensations to persons whose conduct clearly meets all serious international definitions of the crime against of humanity of torture [in the face of binding international obligations to investigate and prosecute all such occurrences]
                       - secret grounds for secret FISA rubber-stamping of [NSA] programs that amount to a flagrantly un-Constitutional wholesale warrantless extirpation of the notion of personal communications privacy for persons everywhere in the world, including "US persons"
                      - remote execution by drone attack, without any credible semblance of legal "due process", on the basis of mere "signature" behaviors and "associations", of hundreds of unknown persons, in multiple sovereign countries -- with or without the acquiescence of their governments -- and without resort to any proper Declaration of War as stipulated in the US Constitution

                     - the current Administration's willful failure to prosecute former Administration officials for the "preeminent war-crime" [per Nuremburg Tribunals] of launching a unilateral invasion of a sovereign country [Iraq], in the face of binding international treaty obligations; moreover, one clearly based on a flimsy concoction of deceptive misrepresentations of cooked "intel" [Iraq] cynically presented to the United Nations

                    * the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of a wildly disproportionate fraction of the domestic African-American population, particularly on drugs offenses, to a degree that makes any denial of massive systemic racism utterly risible;

                    * the massively disproportionate population-wide overall incarceration rate in the US, which puts us squarely on even footing with the 3 most notoriously oppressive societies in the modern world

                    to name just a few items off the top of my head…

                    …well, it makes your knee-jerk American Exceptionalist claim of

                    "our justice system [being] the best in the world"
                    seem just a little bit, well, ludicrous? insincere? clueless? possessed of extraordinary chutzpah? downright bloody appalling?

                    "Turning this country around [will] take years of siege warfare against deeply entrenched interests, defending a deeply dysfunctional political system." -PK

                    by adrianrf on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:58:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So...all the tings you listed (0+ / 0-)

                      really have to do with laws (passed and enforced by the legislative and executive branches).  The judiciary only operates within the legal framework put in place by them.

                      Also not sure why we can not have a rational debate without the emotional closing....

                      "well, it makes your knee-jerk American Exceptionalist claim of

                      seem just a little bit, well, ludicrous? insincere? clueless? possessed of extraordinary chutzpah? downright bloody appalling?"

        •  Will you just stop parroting nonsense. (3+ / 0-)

          He is not innocent. He killed Trayvon Martin. He murdered an unarmed teen and then concocted his bullcocky story of fearing for his life.

          Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

          by JoanMar on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:20:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry that you do not understand our justice (5+ / 0-)

            system and that you would rather stone him in the public square.  But fortunately, George Zimmerman and all other accused citizens do not need your permission to have a trial by jury.  

            •  no. you do not understand our justice system (9+ / 0-)

              george zimmerman enjoys the presumption of innocent on second degree murder charges only within that courtroom in sanford florida. in every single other place on the face of earth free citizens in a free society can say he murdered an umarmed black minor because he was a racist bigot, with a demonstrated propensity to violence, who on numerous occasions acted in an antisocial and extreme pathological manner, and who needs to be separated from the rest of us.

              Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

              by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:55:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your post really does not make (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                a point.  He has the presumption of innocent in ANY courtroom in the US.  Not just Sanford.  Your mentioning of TM's race and calling GZ a racist bigot is emotional and does not add anything to prove a higher level of knowledge of the justice system.

                •  oh okay. because you said so. (0+ / 0-)

                  actually my post points out your error in deeming your opinion to be the one that corrects joan mar's.

                  and i was right.  you were wrong: you have no earthly right to correct her.

                  and for that matter, i could stand in any court room in the county right now, and say george zimmerman is a bigoted guilty asshole.  it's within that courtroom, within the confines of that trial that zimmerman currently enjoys the presumption of innocence.  no where else.

                  Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

                  by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:16:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ??? (0+ / 0-)

                    OK.....I did not give my opinion on anything...and I have no idea what you were right about or what I was wrong about.  Every citizen enjoys the presumption innocence.  That is not my opinion....that is what our justice system is based on...a fact.

            •  Who's calling for public stoning? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JoanMar, vcmvo2, happymisanthropy

              We are calling for conviction in a court of law based on the evidence we have seen.

              Since we are not on the jury, we are allowed to make up our minds in advance of the actual deliberation part of the trial.

              Is that okay with you?

        •  I can see no scenario where Zimmerman is innocent (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sukeyna, tobendaro, janemas

          I'm sorry, but if you're carrying a freaking GUN, you do not in any way get into a confrontation with a kid just because you think he's "suspicious" (aka black).  

          Not to mention, he called the police and the police told him NOT TO FOLLOW Martin.

          I see no defense.

          And I have yet to here any.

          Who was on top or the bottom on the fight means nothing to me.  I am convinced of guilt.  

    •  thats an argument for reasonable doubt. (0+ / 0-)

      a man carrying a gun doesn't want to let someone get real close to them unless they are really stupid.

      An unarmed person planning to attack another unarmed person will move in close.

    •  Because the "intruder" was going to (18+ / 0-)

      answer to him goddamnit......

      I know people like this....I KNOW how they think and they disgust me.

      No one can know who belongs in that giant housing complex and who doesn't.  But you can bet your ass George Zimmerman knew the black kid didn't.

      Ugh - he makes me so sick.

      Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

      by PsychoSavannah on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:50:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think this wanna-be cop was trying (10+ / 0-)

      to "detain the suspect."
      He had his gun out and ready to shoot.
      This was no self-defense case. This was murder.

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:14:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Assumes facts not in evidence? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      UbuRoi, davidinmaine
      I've never understood why Zimmerman got close enough for a physical confrontation to occur in the first place.
      Perhaps that's because you dismiss Zimmerman's version (which is that that Zimmerman was not aware Martin was close by when Martin attacked him) in favor of an alternative version which may be revealed by the prosecution over the coming days?

      Once one accepts the prosecution's apparent contention that Zimmerman went hunting for minorities to kill that night, it's not at all surprising that Zimmerman would be close to Martin as that was necessary in order to kill him and stage the whole thing to look like self defense.

    •  yup. she sent him away today. (15+ / 0-)

      insignificant and could have been done with a fingernail.

      people are saying the prosecution  hasn't been agressive enough, but i see them tightening the noose a little more each day.

      Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

      by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:09:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, dnwopwwo, I hope you're right. I am (7+ / 0-)

        with the "not aggressive enough" theory, especially in light of bulldog O'Mara's style.

        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:35:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  o'mara is a really sleazy lawyer. and i do not (11+ / 0-)

          say that because he represents zimmerman.  

          that guy really walks to very edge of the law.  he keeps trying to see what he can pull.  you should see this not as a 'bulldog' style, but as the desperation it really is.

          BDLR and his team have done hundreds of these cases.  don't second guess them.  just trust.  i know it's  hard, because we know the details so well.

          Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

          by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:54:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the encouragement, my friend. I (4+ / 0-)

            fully recognize that O'Mara is walking the very edge and I am astounded at what he is getting by with.

            "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

            by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:59:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I saw him interviewed before he took (0+ / 0-)

              on the case.  He struck me as a very, very capable defense lawyer.  His job is to provide the best defense je can.  We might not admire his tactics, but that's his job.  What bothers me is that the quality of the defense depends on the resources of the defendant, along with race, etc.

          •  Like not attending a deposition with a man who (3+ / 0-)

            is presently hiking in the NM desert? I'm surprised Judge Nelson didn't fine West for that.

          •  He's a pretty well respected lawyer... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...and his job is to defend his client, the defendant.

            Every defendant has a right to counsel who is their strong advocate -- in fact, the taxpayers pay for one if needed.

            If he wasn't doing what he was doing, he would be arguably guilty of malpractice and/or open the door to overturning any conviction that may result due to ineffective counsel. Everyone should hope to have as good a lawyer if they ever are prosecuted for a crime (they did or didn't commit).

            Our system of justice is an adversarial one. In criminal cases, this protects the accused.

            BDLR and team may have tried a lot of cases. How many of them qualify as "these cases" (i.e., police don't think there's a crime but subsequent political forces "require" a prosecution) is another question -- but I'm betting (hoping, for the sake of justice) it's not "hundreds". And BDLR certainly haven't won all the cases that they got to choose to prosecute on their own.

            •  i'm well aware of an attorney's right to make a (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              living and a defendant's right to vigourous advocacy.

              it still doesn't  make o'mara anything more than sleazy.

              Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

              by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:14:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  how ? no not consistent with statements (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soros, brooklyn137, davidinmaine

        The ME appears to have said at least some part of the fight story is true.

        That's a big deal.  

        Z said TM was banging his head on the cement 10-30 times.

        the States witness said "It happened once and possibly a few more times".

        Now it's a matter of degree there.

        That's the state saying "At some point in the fight, TM had overpowered Z and banged his head on the sidewalk."

        In closing the Defense attorney will likely say "The states own witness agreed that TM had banged Z's head on the sidewalk and was unsure if it happened more then that."

        if someone is banging your head on the sidewalk, that's fairly dangerous.  At that point, does it become reasonable to use a gun?

        •  He should have stayed in his fucking car (13+ / 0-)

          like the police suggested.  End of story.

        •  Surprisingly, ... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          patbahn, soros, brooklyn137, WillR, cap76

          many don't seem to realize that the defense will eventually put its own experts on the witness stand, multiple people who actually examined GZ, who will testify oppositely to what today's witness claimed, a woman who did NOT personally examine GZ and was only going by a few photos, a woman who was appointed to her job by the District Attorney, Angela Corey, who made the decision to file the charges in this case.  The defense made the point that today's witness has a conflict of interest, and lack of personal proximity to GZ, that should be taken into account during deliberations.  

          Clearly the prosecution had no unconflicted witness to put on the stand to make the claim that GZ's injuries were "insignificant", despite the many medically-trained individuals who examined him.

          "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

          by Neuroptimalian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:04:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  why would the state have "Conflicted" witnesses. (0+ / 0-)

            could you expand there?

          •  nonetheless... (9+ / 0-)

            Nonetheless, it is factual that Mr. Zimmerman's wounds required only a couple of simple band-aids.   In that most/all the jurors presumably have used band-aids on occasion, it does seem like it will be quite a stretch to get them to agree with an asserted opinion that Mr. Zimmerman felt his life was threatened when he required so little medical attention after the altercation.  

            •  the standard of life threating must which the (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil, HappyinNM, worldlotus, doroma

              level of what reasonable people would consider so.

              the most reasonable person - ms rao, the medical examiner for the state - has said those 'wounds' could have been made with fingernails.

              Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

              by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:20:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And more importantly, he denied medical (6+ / 0-)

              attention. He was asked several times by PD personnel if he wanted to go to the hospital, and he refused. The PA advised him to see an ENT to determine if his nose was broken, and he told her he wasn't going to do that.

              •  GZ has said that he had crappy insurace ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                with a high deductible, that he couldn't afford to seek further treatment.

                "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

                by Neuroptimalian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:05:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  If necessary... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Neuroptimalian, davidinmaine

                ...and they can afford it, the defense will bring medical experts on head injuries, experts on self defense, and experts on police practice. The prosecution has opened the door wide for this by inferring that Zimmerman wasn't yet quite beaten up enough to justify defending himself.

                These experts will say that people routinely underestimate the risk that head injuries pose to them and refuse treatment when they should not. They will say that one single additional blow can be the one that renders the victim substantially less able (or even possibly unconscious) to defend against the next one (which, of course, is why we often stop boxing matches before one party is laying on the canvas unconscious for the requisite period of time) and any one of these can result in life threatening injuries or death. They will explain that a police officer in a similar situation would likely use deadly force to protect themselves even if they were not acting in any official capacity.

                And, the defense will ask the jury in closing - "If a loved one were being straddled by someone who was sufficiently stronger to have punched them, knocked them to the ground, and had control of their head and was knocking it against a concrete walkway, would you feel that your loved one was in danger of serious injury or death? How long would you want them to wait to defend themselves with sufficient force to stop the attack?"

                If one believes Zimmerman's general story, there's no way that the degree of injury he sustained once on the ground matters much. In fact, if Zimmerman's story is completely correct, the moment Martin was on top of Zimmerman and had made a threat and reached for the gun, Zimmerman was completely justified in shooting Martin if Martin didn't stop the attack on his own.

                Of course, if Zimmerman attacked Martin, that's a whole other story.

                •  What if Zimmerman was able to stop the attack (4+ / 0-)

                  just by pulling his gun? I know if I were hitting someone and they pulled a gun, I'd stop. I think if he was capable of pulling that gun, he wasn't being beaten that badly, or at all.

                  •  In close combat situation like... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...that (M on top of Z), I doubt you could find many self-defense experts who would suggest doing what you suggest. The firearm can become a liability in less than 200 milliseconds if the attacker gets hold of it.

                    General rule of thumbs. Don't pull your gun unless you're justified in firing it and need to do so. Don't fire it unless you are intending to kill the person you are firing it at.

                    We live in a real world controlled by physics, not dreams or TV scripts.

                    Unlike police who put themselves in situations where they draw their guns frequently, but virtually never fire them, private citizens (and police not wearing uniforms probably) should not be drawing guns at the drop of a hat.

                •  the police officer line is objectionable. (0+ / 0-)

                  a police officer uses the reasonable officer test, while
                  citizens have to use the reasonable person test.

            •  the bull shit band aids were for show a day later. (0+ / 0-)

              Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

              by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:22:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The Medical Examiner (6+ / 0-)

            destroyed O'Meara today during his fumbling and obviously contrived hypotheticals that were posed in  attempts to have her re-characterize GZ injuries as anything other than minor abrasians that were completely inconsistent with a beating or blunt trauma resulting from having his head banged against a hard surface.  Defense witnesses who would endeavor to present a different medical assessment will go a long way toward establishing GZ's lack of credibility and guilt.  

        •  we haven't heard allt he forensics yet. (8+ / 0-)

          did the vicious kick on the kaltec revolver cause the abrasions on his face.?

          did he fall onto some twigs or branches that cause other abraisions?

          did he cut himself shaving and did the scabs reopen under strenuous movement?

          the story that his life was threatened is utterly ridiculous and the surrounding web of lies zimmerman has woven around that notion can be brushed away withthe back of a hand.

          no one banged his head on the sidewalk.  he had no swelling, no real contusions and no discolorations.  

          f he didn't have a shaved head, no one would have even given the slightest bit of credence to his 'head wounds'.

          and by the way, the trickle of blood from those less 1/2 inch wounds, which the medical examiner said could have been made with a fingernail, flowed towards his ears.

          which it might be noted, is not evidence that zimmerman was on the bottom.

          Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

          by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:18:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I've been in a few of those fights. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf, urnumbersix, retLT

      I've been in a few fights, some in which the guy I punched bounced off the pavement, backwards with damage to the back of his head.  They generally bled more than Zimmerman did.  Stitches, sometimes in the dozens, were usually required by the time it was over.  The aftermath of a real fight, not a schoolboy scuffle, is way worse than the swollen nose and two bandages Zimmerman showed.  If Zimmerman thought one punch in the nose put his life in imminent danger, he's a coward.  So, my question is, does his cowardice color the claim that he was fearful and therefore entitled to use deadly force?

      As an aside, I have no idea what the details of the fight were, beyond maybe a punch in the nose.  What I do know is that if Martin landed dozens of punches on Zimmerman's head, he wasn't very good at it.  

      •  Queensberry rules... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Julia Grey

        ...don't apply when defending yourself against an unprovoked attack from a stranger.

        If someone attacks you, you have every bit as much right to use deadly force to protect yourself as a police officer would in a similar situation (and, presumably, usually more as the police officer generally has many more non-deadly resources available - both implements and training).

        Do you believe that a solitary police officer with an unprovoked attacker on top of her, who has already suffered lacerations and injuries on both the front and back of her head in the attack, who is unable to get away, and whose attacker is grabbing for her gun and making threatening responses would not be justified in shooting the attacker (and police are supposed to only shoot to kill - those old TV shows where they shoot to disable are either outdated or never reflected actual police practice)?

        Again, if Zimmerman started the attack, that's another matter - actually, it seems to be the only real issue in this case. Only the existence of injuries to Zimmerman is relevant and only to the extent that they support his claim that Martin hit him and had him on the ground and had control of him and was trying to get the gun.

        •  Uh, no actually (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          No, a deadly response to a punch in the nose is not warranted and not defensible.  A bloody nose alone does not give rise to a realistic fear of an imminent threat of grievous bodily harm.  I am not a lawyer, but I have been the one on the bottom, with a pistol and 90 seconds of having been strangled (counting 1 mississippi, two mississippi, etc, and I was on my own property, having caught them in the commission of a crime).  I was lucky, my assailants' buddies pulled them off before I had to shoot them.  I got plenty of bruises.  I asked the Prosecutor, during a break in their trial, what he would have done if I had shot them, given the nature, intensity, and duration of the attack.  He said that of course he would have prosecuted me.  

          The argument that this has something to do with the Marquis of Queensbury is just silly.  

          I specifically write that I do not have knowledge of, or an opinion about, the details of whatever fight may have taken place between Martin and Zimmerman.  Nobody but Zimmerman does, and the truthfulness of his testimony is what this trial is about.  What I do know, though, is that the story of Martin on tip, pounding and punching, with the result being smaller scratches and less blood than I got falling down and skinning my knee last Saturday, either shows Martin was remarkably ineffective (in my view, unbelievably ineffective) or Zimmerman knew suffering a punch in the nose would not be a good enough story to get him off the hook for shooting an unarmed teenager.  Which one is the simplest explanation?

          •  Who ya gonna believe? (0+ / 0-)

            It comes down to who ya gonna believe, the guy who shot the unarmed kid, or your own lying eyes?

          •  Umm... (0+ / 0-)

            ...Zimmerman's story is that he was under control of Martin and that Martin was attacking his head. That's completely different than a single blow to the nose with no further action.

            I don't know where you live or what the situation was. But, in some (probably most) states, you don't have the right to pursue people just because they are on your own property and attack them if you can escape. You obviously didn't fear for your life or serious injury so you obviously shouldn't have used the firearm in your jurisdiction.

            You sound like one of those violent types who get in a lot of fights and considers those that don't fight with bare hands to be cowards. Your experience in such things may influence your ability to claim "fear of life" if a good prosecutor can show that you've spent a lot of time getting bloodied and being bloodied and understand how to defend yourself with your own fists. I don't think Zimmerman has that history.

            BTW, a small weak disabled person COULD be justified in using deadly force after a single blow from a large attacker. It has to do with being in reasonable fear of life or serious injury given the circumstances - already having been killed or already having been seriously injured is NOT a requirement.

            The issue of surprise attack isn't inconsistent with Zimmerman's version as I recall it. If someone approaches you and you have a discussion with them and they then sucker punch you, it's a "surprise attack" in my book. If I'm at a bar with you talking for hours, and then without warning bash a baseball bat over your head, would you consider that a surprise attack?

            BTW, concussive injuries to the brain don't necessarily cause bleeding or even any immediate symptoms. Most people realize today that head injuries are very dangerous and I would expect someone who knows that to consider them differently than a similar appearing injury with little blood to one's knee. It is with that background an educated and reasonable person would evaluate risk of serious injury or death. Of course, this would not have been the case 50 years ago before the medical community had been stressing this point as they do now.

            •  Words aplenty, where's the evidence? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              First, this is not about me.  So as to my case, I did not attack them.  I called the cops and waited.  Two guys out of a group of five attacked me.  The guy who had jumped me from behind and took us all to the ground had his forearm across my throat, cutting off my air, while the guy in front kept my hands down and punched me.  I quickly determined I could not overcome them or wiggle free.  My hopes lay in intervention or deadly force.  I can hold my breath for two minutes, and I started counting so as to best use the resources I had.  At "90 mississippi" - 30 seconds left - I decided to wait another 15 seconds (restarting the count, "1 mississippi, ... and I got to 7) in the hope that we could all get out of this without me killing anybody.  Fortunately, their buddies intervened.  We can never know what would have happened absent the intervention, but my attackers actions would have resulted in my unconsciousness in something less than a minute more, and my death shortly thereafter, if they continued.  They gave every indication was their intention.  

              They were convicted of assault, a result of a plea bargain that dropped more serious charges.  I believe I would have been found not guilty at trial had I shot them (there can be no certainty).  However, I also believe that the cost and disruption of a defense would have done enormous damage to my life and my children's lives.  Better not to go through that if I can give better options a chance to work was my thought as this was happening.  The point here is that even that set of facts, far more clear cut than your hypotheticals, did not establish a clear enough case for self defense to have the Assistant District Attorney who handles our end of the County say he would not prosecute.  Again, no speculation is involved.  

              But the point I originally made, that the injuries to Zimmerman's head are inconsistent with his story, is where I think that we ought to end this.  I have a few scars from that sort of thing, and I have left people with somewhat more scars, which is neither here nor there except that it gives me an experiential basis for evaluating those pictures of Zimmerman's head and the reports about Martin's and Zimmerman's hands.  There is an old country and western song with a line about "he lost four teeth and I lost one, so I guess that makes me the winner."  Everybody gets hurt.  In my experience, a bare knuckle fight such as the one Zimmerman claims he had with Martin simply leaves more damage, both to Zimmerman and Martin's hands (at least), than we see here.  I'm not seeing damage consistent with the description - did it happen?  Nobody, not the "winner" and especially not the "loser" gets out of a situation involving multiple blows to the head and a "ground and pound" with no damage to anybody's knuckles and hands, a little bit of swelling, a bloody nose, and a couple of shallow cuts totaling less than a half inch.  I can believe a punch was thrown; it may even have been a sucker punch.  There is evidence of that.  I do not know how someone who believes the rest of Zimmerman's story gets around the absence of further damage.  A good rule of thumb is to believe what your eyes tell you, and remember Occam's Razor.

              Why Zimmerman might make such a claim comes back to training on what constitutes a valid claim of the right to self-defense.  Florida's laws on this appear to be a little looser than those in my state, but the basic principle appears to be the same - a reasonable fear of imminent grievous bodily harm.  My concealed weapon's permit course went on at some length about that.  Surely, his must have too.  The guy who shot an unarmed kid with his licensed concealed weapon had to know that his story needed more than suffering a knockdown punch in the nose to get him off the hook.  

              •  Addl info was interesting. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Sounds like you acted with appropriate restraint in that situation.

                But, be careful -- if the guy with the arm around your neck had turned it into a proper chokehold (obstructing your carotid artery and/or jugular veins), you could have been rendered helpless and unable to defend yourself in less than 15 seconds due to loss of consciousness without restricting your airflow significantly. At that point, they could have beaten you severely, perhaps eventually causing your death, and you would have been unable to defend yourself until sometime after the hold was released. Fortunately, your attacker didn't know how to do this or didn't elect to. However, I think it would have been reasonable to consider that possibility in your analysis of an appropriate reaction.

                Many years ago, I knew a girl who was good at applying a "sleeper hold" and it was something of a party trick. Few guys,myself included, retained the ability to continue to resist more than about ten seconds. Of course, this was a dangerous "party trick", but we were young and foolish. Don't try this at home!

        •  again we know from at least (4+ / 0-)

          two witnesses that their was an argument before the fight so the whole idea that the defendant was caught up in a surprise attack seems unlikely at best, and given the other evidence falls into unreasonable doubt rather than the reasonable kind

  •  Yeah but 'life threatening' insignificance....n/t (8+ / 0-)
    •  Shifting gears out of this case (9+ / 0-)

      and talking about self-defense generally:

      Anyone here who is ever the subject of a real attack, don't wait until you have significant injuries before you protect yourself. It's legal, ethical in many systems of ethics, and just plain prudent to act (running away is acting!) as soon as you know the threat is grave.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:30:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why TM didn't run down the dogpath to safety (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UbuRoi, soros

        is why this case is where it is now

        •  Perhaps that wasn't an option. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Do you know when the gun was drawn?

          •  Trayvon was near his house according to Rachel (0+ / 0-)

            but he obviously wasn't according to the evidence.. he was waiting somewhere near the T. When Z was walking back from the end of the sidewalk Trayvon shows up when he should have already been home.

            To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

            by soros on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:56:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  How was it not an option? (0+ / 0-)
            •  It's an option, but running from someone... (0+ / 0-)

              ...with a gun who you think is prone to killing you can be unwise - esp. if you think killing you may be their primary intent (as opposed to, say, robbing you -- in which case, politely give them your wallet).

              It can be a better course of action to disarm/disable the armed attacker if the armed attacker is close. Once you run, you can be shot in the back and you have several seconds of vulnerability. If you are within a few feet (pick your favorite number), and you haven't been shot yet, you can likely keep your attacker from shooting you for a bit by attacking and deflecting the firearm/holding hand. Although, if the attacker is bigger/stronger/more skilled at physical combat than you, you might want to think twice about this strategy as you probably won't be able to  maintain control of the gun/arm for long and then it's likely to be a very bad day.

              In this case, if Zimmerman did draw a gun on Martin unprovoked, it probably wouldn't have been wise for Martin to run. There would seem to be two main possibilities. The first is that Zimmerman wanted to detain Martin. The second is that Zimmerman was intent on killing Martin. In both cases, running seems like a risky tactic. If Martin could distinguish the two cases, the prudent thing to do in the first case would likely be to submit and in the second to counter-attack.

  •  Zimmerman had opportunities (16+ / 0-)

    to quickly assuage the situation – as Neighborhood Watch folks are taught to do - but he didn’t.

    MARTIN: Why are you following me?

    ZIMMERMAN: I’m the Neighborhood Watch....Oops! – NO – he said.....
    What are you doing around here?
    as if everyone in the World knew Zimmerman’s position/job.
    PLUS - Zimmerman was following Trayvon because of his Neighborhood Watch position.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:35:10 PM PDT

  •  Malice will be the difficulty in this case. (10+ / 0-)

    There was a struggle.  Think the jury can still convict on lesser included charge, manslaughter, but not an expert on criminal law.

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:36:53 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry but the prosecution has dropped the ball (6+ / 0-)

    They have barely objected. Mark Omara has been able to get witnesses to agree with his hypotheticals and speculations. It makes no sense what's happening right now. So Zimmerman who had the loaded gun and a training in MMA was the only one fearing for his life? Perhaps trayvon saw the gun since police already testified it was hard to miss.

    Zimmerman is getting off.

    "I'm not mad at them (tea party) for being loud, I'm mad at us for being silent for the last two years. Where have we been"? "it was never yes HE can, it was Yes WE can". - Van Jones

    by sillycilla on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:38:52 PM PDT

  •  Manslaughter (10+ / 0-)
    Because so many state witnesses have answered questions in ways that give at least some credibility to Zimmerman and his version of what happened, many observers—whatever their perspective was before the trial began—are now expressing doubt about the prosecution's wisdom of the charging him with second-degree murder instead of manslaughter, which requires a much lower threshold of proof.
    This is true. But even in the case of manslaughter, the jury would still have to consider self defence. If they believe Zimmerman was acting in self defence, it wouldn't matter whether the charge was second degree murder or manslaughter. If the state doesn't prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman was not in reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury when he shot Martin, the jury should find him not guilty. That's the instruction that's going to be read to them.

    Having said that, juries can, notoriously sometimes, attempt to "split the baby".  As I've said before, criminal trials are about assigning blame, and the state has given the jurors George Zimmerman. While they might not be convinced Zimmerman acted with a depraved heart and ill will in murdering Martin, they still are going to want to hold someone accountable for this young man's death. They know that if the acquit Zimmerman, no one will ever be held responsible.

    Black Holes Suck.

    by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:39:03 PM PDT

    •  "reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury" (17+ / 0-)

      I wonder how a jury will be able to find that person with only minor injuries had a reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury.

      I certainly could not if I were on that jury.

      "This is a center-left country. Democrats can act that way and win. In fact, they must." -- Markos

      by cassandraX on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:46:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (12+ / 0-)

        The standard isn't whether the injuries could have caused death, or even if the injuries were minor. It's whether a reasonable person, in that situation, would have felt in fear for their life or great bodily injury. People have been acquitted based on self defence with no injuries.

        So in a way the issue isn't whether the medical examiner felt Zimmerman's injuries were life threatening. It's whether Zimmerman, in that situation, reasonably felt that he was in danger of death or great bodily harm. That's why Zimmerman's attorney, as his last question to the ME, basically asked (paraphrasing) "You don't know if the next blows could have killed him, had he not stopped Martin, do you?"

        Certainly the medical examiners conclusions are an important piece of information for the jury to consider, but ultimately tit's up to them to decide if they thought Zimmerman's fear was reasonable.

        Black Holes Suck.

        by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:54:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well ... (10+ / 0-)

        ... it's not like he can pause in the middle and check out badly he is (or isn't) bleeding.  Still, the lack of serious injury complicates Z's defense.

      •  They are saying that the injuries don't matter (8+ / 0-)

        because GZ says his fear for his life was when TM "went for his (GZ's) gun". No one can prove or disprove that this happened and people seem to want to believe this murderer.

        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:10:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hadn't seen that before. I almost heaved. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, tobendaro

          God's will. Well, I guess if that's how he rationalizes it, he can now go out and kill all of the black boys he wants to.

          "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

          by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:15:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Isn't that the point? (7+ / 0-)
          No one can prove or disprove that this happened and people seem to want to believe this murderer.
          The defence doesn't have to prove anything. The prosecution has to prove not only every element of the crime Zimmerman has been charged with, but also prove that he wasn't acting to prevent great bodily harm or death.

          Certainly, it's up to the jury whether they believe the "reaching for the gun" story or any other piece of evidence. But if they are inclined to believe the prosecution's version of what happened, they must believe it beyond a reasonable doubt.

          Black Holes Suck.

          by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:18:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, and the only person who could convince (4+ / 0-)

            them of that, is dead.

            "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

            by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:40:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Depends on if they like Zimmerman (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rubyr, Mylies Voice

            If they believe that Zimmerman was looking for a fight and was completely willing to make up any story that would save his own ass, they're entitled to do so.  A witness can be so unbelievable as to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt, even if there's nobody to directly rebut him.  

          •  This: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pi Li
            But if they are inclined to believe the prosecution's version of what happened, they must believe it beyond a reasonable doubt.
            Thank you.  The above sentence alone may help clarify things.  It did for me.

            In layman's term is this correct:
            The jury has to believe the prosecutors version of what happened over the defenses version. (?)

            The defense for GM just has to create/produce whatever will cause the jury to doubt the prosecution's presentation (?)

            •  You're very welcome (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              In answer to your questions....

              The jury has to believe the prosecutors version of what happened over the defenses version. (?)
              Actually, the jury doesn't have to believe the defences "version" at all. As long as they don't believe the prosecutions version beyond a reasonable doubt, the must find the defendant not guilty. The can think Zimmerman is lying (and may very well), and believe that it didn't go down the way he claims. Juries usually believe defendants are lying and acting in self-interest. But unless the prosecution can convince them beyond a reasonable doubt that their version is the way it happened, the jury should acquit. And in this case the judge will instruct them that not only do they have to find Zimmerman guilty of the elements of second degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt, but also that the state proved that Zimmerman did not act in legal self defence beyond a reasonable doubt.
              The defense for GM just has to create/produce whatever will cause the jury to doubt the prosecution's presentation (?)
              Essentially, though actually the defence doesn't have to put on a case at all. They just can just punch holes in the prosecution's case, then argue at close that the state didn't prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Now, usually the defence does put on a case, but strictly speaking the don't have to prove anything.

              Black Holes Suck.

              by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:24:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you! Got it. I think. Brain melt when (0+ / 0-)

                reading the various attorney's commentary on DKOS-which I really appreciate ya'll doing with this complicated case.

                Brain melt because I am not an attorney nor did I fully grasp how a plea(?) of self defense actually played out in the court of law.

                Thank you again for staying the course & being so very gracious about explaining.

                One last question that really shows my ignorance.  What happens if the jury cannot decide?  

                •  Hung jury (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  One last question that really shows my ignorance.  What happens if the jury cannot decide?  
                  If the jury comes back and tells the judge they can't agree on a unanimous verdict, the judge will tell them to keep trying and send them back into the jury room. And she may do this more than once. But ultimately, if the jury can't agree the judge will (VERY regrettably) declare a mistrial and dismiss the jurors.

                  At this point the state can choose to retry the case at some point in the future, in this instance probably will.  This amounts to hitting reset and the whole process start again. Fun, huh? :)

                  Black Holes Suck.

                  by Pi Li on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:46:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Because the state's own witness last Friday (7+ / 0-)

        said that being hit in the had the way Zimmerman had could cause subdural hematoma.

        You don't have to suffer any injury at all to claim self-defense.  You simply have to have a reasonable belief that you have to act to prevent serious bodily injury or death.  

      •  They are counting on racism (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to carry them the rest of the distance

        As you seem here where they can't quite explain why injuries alone are sign of escalation.

  •  Well, I am certainly glad the jury is not (21+ / 0-)

    allowed to watch the tv or go on the internet, because MSNBC and others have basically determined already that the prosecution is sunk and that Mr. Zimmerman is going to be found not-guilty.  Even the very partisan Professor Dyson said just a bit ago that many people in the african american community are expecting a not-guilty verdict.  

    What is getting under my skin is that it doesnt seem to carry any weight that Mr. Zimmerman approached(probably chased)Mr. Martin- what gives?

  •  I think today was good for prosecution. (26+ / 0-)

    Street numbers next to Zimmerman's head, at the same time he is asserting that no homes had street numbers. No Martin DNA on gun. Minor head injuries on Zimmerman.
    George Zimmerman is a sociopath. He has NO remorse that he killed an unarmed kid. And O'Mara's questions and implications that Martin was suspicious is really a whistle call to those who fear Black people.

    If I had one wish, Republican men would have uteruses.

    by Desert Rose on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:53:42 PM PDT

  •  But she puts them on concrete? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, sawgrass727

    A major argument has always been that Zimmerman must be lying about the pavement since Trayvon died on the grass.

    So even if she says the injuries were minor doesn't it corroborate the claim that Trayvon was banging his head into the pavement?

  •  The insignificance of the injuries (7+ / 0-)

    doesn't really matter.  The self-defense statute says that you have to have a reasonable belief that your actions will prevent death or great bodily injury.    You don't have to have actually suffered any injury at all.

    The prosecution's witness, last Friday, testified that this kind if head injuries could cause subdural hematoma.  Subdural Hematoma qualifies as "death or great bodily injury."  

    I have no idea why the prosecution is focused on what injuries the beating actually caused, when the defense, based on the prosecution's own witness, is going to argue that Zimmerman had a reasonable belief that he had to act to prevent a possible subdural hematoma.  

    What is more important, I think, is that the prosecution has never given the jury an explanation of how those injuries, however severe, were sustained, one that is convincing to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.  In the absence of that, the jury may have doubts as to whether Martin was beating on Zimmerman's head when Zimmerman shot him, and that probably means acquittal.  

    •  Wouldn't the insignificance of the injuries (19+ / 0-)

      mean the man was lying about what happened. There wasn't 25 - 30 punches. He was chasing the Trayvon, slipped and fell said Trayvon scared him.

      give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

      by 88kathy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:59:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Today's testimony by the ME cemented that. No (21+ / 0-)

        way did Zimmerman get hit 25 times.  It is just laughable.

        If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

        by livjack on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:01:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just looked up Muhammad Ali's punching speed. (8+ / 0-)
          I've heard he could throw something like 33-35 punches in 11 seconds
          How much time are they saying it took to throw 25-30 punches?

          give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

          by 88kathy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:05:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and sting like a butterfly? leave no marks? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            88kathy, rubyr, Tonedevil

            how about bare fist punches by an untrained person...? they would still leave marks... and a trained boxer, black or white... doesn't have to be a pugilist legend would be able to land a lot of gloved punches in a short time on a punching bag... and also that would be standing up with the bag not punching back or just trying to restrain the punches... close quarter struggles with another person might not be ideal for landing world record attempt punches per second.

            and also... one of the two did have a couple of years of regular training in mixed martial arts... throwing punches etc... and it was not Trayvon...

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:32:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  When I was a prosecutor... (7+ / 0-)

            ...early on I did a rotation through domestic violence (DV) court. All of us had to do a rotation and most of us didn't want to, the cases are just a nightmare, mainly because you'd spend months building a case, and then the wife/girlfriend would decide to forgive the dirtbag and take him back and became an uncooperative witness.

            Anyway, battered women would often exaggerate the number of times their partner was striking them, and often times what they were saying wouldn't match up with their injuries.  It wasn't necessarily because they were lying, at all. The usual, and very valid, explanation is that when you're the victim of a frenzy of violence, it can often feel worse then it actually is, and just a handful of blows can feel like a lot more. Your perception just changes when something like that happens. I believe that O'Mara even got the lead detective in the case to acknowledge this.

            I'm not saying that's what happened here, or that Zimmerman didn't intentionally exaggerate. But expect Zimmerman's attorneys to bring this up in closing, and it's no inconceivable that the jury will buy it.

            Black Holes Suck.

            by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:53:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did you check out my video above? I have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              convinced myself that.

              Zimmerman chased Martin
              Zimmerman slide tackled Martin

              That explains why Martin was on top and I was shocked when I watch the video. I was just watching because the person who is tackled ends up on top. Not like football.

              But about 1/2 way through the video it shows a picture of a slide tackle gone bad and damned if the injury isn't exactly the same as Zimmerman's.

              Yeah I think Zimmerman was exaggerating. Especially when what he said would have been fast for the Greatest.

              give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

              by 88kathy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:06:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Maybe by Accident (0+ / 0-)

                Maybe Zimmerman slipped  and when his feet went out from under him he knocked Martin on top of himself. But I doubt that he intentionally tackled Martin. Not when he had gun at his disposal.

                •  At least the slide tackle shows that the aggressor (0+ / 0-)

                  does not necessarily have to land on top. I was startled when I saw the face of the slide tackle gone wrong and how similar it was to Zimmerman's injuries from 25-30 punches delivered in the lightening speed of a young Muhammad Ali.

                  Looks a lot more like a slide tackle to me.

                  Exaggeration of the number of punches is expected. But I wonder how many go to Muhammad Ali land in their stretch. I mean you just can't say it was a 200 lb trout. Maybe 20 lb. But there is a point where you just look ridiculous.

                  give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

                  by 88kathy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:23:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I was viciously attacked by a deranged nut... (9+ / 0-)

              ...who stalked me leaving a lesbian bar.

              We were shoulder to shoulder on a sidewalk and he grinned and then went into a rage. He grabbed my long hair from behind my back and in an instant wrapped it around his hand and pulled my whole body down by my head crashing the back of my head into the pavement. He straddled over me with his two hands on each side of my head still with my hair twisted through his fingers, raising and lowering my head to the ground screaming, "I'm going to kill you! I'm going to kill you!".

              I remember my friend's screams for help and people in the distant running toward us. A car pulled up and the door opened and a guy reached out and pulled me up into the car as it started driving away before I was all the way inside. I was in and out of consciousness by then but I clearly remember seeing the attacker running away screaming that he was still going to kill me. These two guys in the car saved my life.

              My point to sharing is that it all happened in a flash. I remember at least 3 raising and crashing of my head after the initial (worst) crash down. He was far bigger and stronger than I. What is important though is the reflexive way my head, neck, and entire body resisted each strike and softened each impact. I had some superficial cuts that bled but few actual injuries and needed no stitches. I did have something like whiplash from resisting and trying to protect my head. My injuries looked not unlike GZ's. But this guy flipped and seriously wanted to kill me and smash my brains out of my head but my reflexes were very present even in shock. I definitely thought my life was in danger. But my point is that injuries are mitigated by impulses to self protection

              •  BTW, the witnesses to my attack said that my head (7+ / 0-)

                ...was repeatedly smashed into the sidewalk, more than what I could remember.

                I also just wanted to say that from my experience GZ's injuries are simply inconclusive and neither prove his story nor disprove it.  

              •  Thanks for sharing your story (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                andalusi, kck, VClib, davidinmaine

                The notion that we can judge, months later in a scientific context, how it feels to be being violently beaten like that is absurd. And the law takes that into account. The standard is not if your life was actually threatened, or even if you sustained serious injury. It's whether you felt in danger of death or great bodily harm when the attack occurred.

                I've successfully prosecuted felony aggravated battery cases where the victim didn't have have injuries even as serious as Zimmermans. The seriousness of the injuries prove very little in terms of whether he felt in danger of death, or even what actually occurred that night. They are probative in how honest he was being in terms of the severity of Martin's attack, but only to a point as your story illustrates. Can you imagine what an ME would say about your injuries, looking at them months later in a photograph, and making a conclusion as to what you wen through and felt that night?

                Again, thanks much for sharing your story. As an aside, you're a very good writer, I'm glad you seem to have fully recovered and lived to fight another day!

                Black Holes Suck.

                by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:38:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I haven't heard Zimmerman say he ever lost (0+ / 0-)


                I wonder why your injuries were mitigated by your body un-shutting down. I'm sorry this sounds like you are a witness for the defense. And we all know how this jury member is voting.

                give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

                by 88kathy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:39:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is the prosecution has never even (9+ / 0-)

        suggested that this happened:

        He was chasing the Trayvon, slipped and fell said Trayvon scared him.
        All this arguing about HOW MUCH Martin was beating on Zimmerman's head presumes that Martin was beating on Zimmerman's head.
        •  I don't know why, I can just see that fat little (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          stumble bum getting his feet all tangled trying to tackle Trayvon. He doesn't strike me as an agile fellow.

          give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

          by 88kathy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:37:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That could also explain how Trayvon was on (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          top still scrambling to get away.

          give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

          by 88kathy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:39:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Which is why Dr. Rao's testimony that the (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sukeyna, bruh1, 88kathy, rubyr, doroma, buffie

          insignificant wounds were consistent with one impact is so important. The man had a bloody nose, and the back of his head was also bloody. That's difficult to ignore. But Dr. Rao testified that those injuries were minimal, and a reasonable person wouldn't be in fear of his life.

          •  Not exactly (5+ / 0-)
            Which is why Dr. Rao's testimony that the insignificant wounds were consistent with one impact is so important.
            Yes, that's how she testified. Then on cross, she testified that the wounds could be consistent with two impacts. Or three.  "Consistent" is a word that medical and scientific witnesses, usually for the state, have learned to use with some effectiveness.

            If I tell you the wet grass is consistent with it having rained, you might conclude it rained.

            If I then tell you the wet grass is consistent with the use of a sprinkler, you might conclude someone is using a sprinkler.

            Did it rain or did someone use a sprinkler? Which is the truth?  Just because something is "consistent" with something else doesn't make that a factual finding of the truth.

            But Dr. Rao testified that those injuries were minimal, and a reasonable person wouldn't be in fear of his life.
            No, she never testified that " a reasonable person wouldn't be in fear of his life." She's not qualified to make that judgment. What she testified to was that the injuries were not life threatening. There's a world of difference. We don't judge what a "reasonable person" would do based on whether in that moment they know for a medical certainty that the injuries they are sustaining are definitely life threatening.

            Black Holes Suck.

            by Pi Li on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:05:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No it presumes that Zimmerman made up the (0+ / 0-)

          whole attack. He was not attacked by Mohammed Ali in his prime.

          And if you will notice my video it shows how Zimmerman could have gotten his injuries slide tackling Martin.  That would put Martin on top and Zimmerman with some superficial head injuries.

          So there.

          give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

          by 88kathy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:46:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  see above. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doroma, rubyr

      If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

      by livjack on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:00:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you're missing a word. (13+ / 0-)

      It's "reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm," and that's where the severity does matter.

      •  Well, since GZ admitted that he thought that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doroma, Siri, collardgreens, Nowhere Man

        the cops were already there as he said on the Hannity tape, he should have reasonably believed that he would be saved before imminent death could occur.

        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:18:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Somebody's going for your gun, ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soros, brooklyn137

          telling you you're about to die, but you do nothing 'cause the cops should be showing up any minute now?  Especially knowing it became a low priority call because, as of the time the call ended, everyone thought TM had left the area?

          I'm betting that wouldn't be the advice given at any self-defense school.

          "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

          by Neuroptimalian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:26:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is that all this is (4+ / 0-)

        simply arguing about how badly Martin beat Zimmerman's head.  It presumes that Zimmerman, and Mr. Good, were correct that Martin was on top of Zimmerman beating him on the head.

        Given the potential for head injury that the prosecution's witness acknowledged when someone is beating on your head, I think that if the prosecution is relegated to arguing that Zimmerman exaggerated how much beating on the head he was taking, and that you don't fear great bodily harm when someone is beating your head, that's a tough place to be.

          •  No proof (yet) that TM beat/punched/made (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Grabber by the Heel

            GZ bleed is what I think coffeetalk is referencing.

            NO proof.  I've followed this case from the beginning.  No witness in court has testified seeing/hearing blows land.

            The only "evidence" I have seen are the many faceted stories of GZ & the infamous photos.

            Oh & a teeny tiny mark on TM left ring finger via autopsy reports (when they were initially dumped).

            For all anyone knows, Trayvon Martin never touched GZ in an aggressive way.

            For all anyone knows, the witnessed struggle was Trayvon Martin trying to get away.

            For all anyone knows, the witnessed struggle was GZ keeping TM from getting away.

            Beyond sad that there is only one witness who can provide his version of that night.  But because TM is dead, we will never know his version nor what really happened.

            Sad that people readily believe the story given that TM ever hit GZ....when there is no proof that TM bloodied/hit/pounded on/assaulted GZ.  No witness, no proof.

      •  No. (7+ / 0-)

        If your ex who has threatened to kill you breaks down your door and is holding a knife, that is imminent danger, before you get so much as a scratch.

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:03:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HappyinNM, vcmvo2, happymisanthropy

          But we don't have that kind of history here, nor did Martin possess a deadly weapon.

          •  Unless you count the concrete ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            soros, brooklyn137

            and the claim that he was going for GZ's gun, thus was seconds away from having possession of a deadly weapon.

            "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

            by Neuroptimalian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:28:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No one can corraborate the concrete (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2, worldlotus

              claim and the physical evidence, per today, isn't consistent with the claim (the best one could argue is one hit of the head with concrete, etc)

              Remember as well, they haven't even gotten into the other evidence about the location of the body which is inconsistent with the claim

              •  Dr. Rao said two hits on concrete (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                and admitted it could be more.  Punctillate wounds on two sides of the head.  

                •  The consistent problem with many of (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  you is the linear thinking

                  She's only one part of what i used as my evidence

                  trying to deflect by using her doesn't help your case when I give you three examples of evicence to say well but one say it co uld have

                  What is consistent acdross all three is the point

                  Not where you can bring doubt about one

                •  by the way, the defendant claimed (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  vcmvo2, happymisanthropy

                  30 times or repeatedly

                  She made its clear, and others who testified have said, this didn't happen, and Omara says "may be could have if the stars were alighned just right" and you folks eat that up

                  The problem what that is that you are doing this on every piece of evidence

                  May if the stars aligned and he hadn't make up shit in other regards, you could do that, but under the circumstances your doubt isn't reasonable

                  •  I was correcting your misstatement. (0+ / 0-)

                    about what Dr. Rao said.  

                    As to doubt, consider your own doubt.  Other than the fact that you decided what the facts were months ago before a single bit of evidence was in, what is the basis on which you can not have reasonable doubt in this case.  Don't any of the witnesses who have testified so far raise a reason to doubt the story that GZ attacked TM or whatever the theory of the day is?  Doesn't Good's testimony that TM was on top  and GZ was screaming raise even a doubt in your mind?  If not, how can that be?  How can you be so sure?  Especially since the prosecution has not even presented a theory of what happened.

                    •  Because Good said himself that (0+ / 0-)

                      they were "perpendicular" to him, and explained that that
                      was directly in front of his line of sight. If TM was sitting
                      on GZ, then I fail to see how Good saw the color of
                      GZ's clothes (note: the arms of GZ's jacket were black
                      and not orange) or skin. TM would have been blocking
                      that view. He said that they turned and he saw them
                      from the side but they were in silhouette. He also
                      said his total time viewing them was between 2 and 10
                      seconds and O'Mara got him to go to the upper level
                      of that range (10 secs). It was dark and raining. I see
                      all kind of ways he could have been wrong about what
                      he testified to. Also, he had to be experiencing some
                      level of stress and fear since he returned to the inside
                      of his home and did not stay in the yard and help.  

                      "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

                      by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:09:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You have reversed the burden (0+ / 0-)

                        The prosecution has the burden to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.  The defense only has to raise a reasonable doubt.  Okay, you doubt Good.  Does that prove the opposite?  Say Good didn't see what he said he saw, or hear what he said he heard.  What are you left with?  Nothing.  And nothing means acquittal.  

                        My point is that you were absolutely convinced that GZ was a cold blooded killer, but you did not have firm idea of exactly what happened.  You still don't.  And there has been lots of evidence which would cause someone to reconsider.  GZ's injuries.  Were they self-inflicted?  How likely is that?  Did GZ kill TM in cold blood just after he called the police and knew they were minutes away?  That doesn't make much sense, does it?  Does that raise even a fleeting doubt?

                        My point is that you have decided what happened based not on evidence, but on something else.  That is a fixed point in your mind.  The evidence, no matter what it is, doesn't shake your fixed idea.  You just find new ways to support the same idea.

                        Last point.  Let's suppose that you were on trial for some crime.  Would you want someone who had predetermined your guilt before hearing all the evidence and ignored any evidence that might cast a doubt on your belief on your jury?  Would you want you on your jury?

                        •  You don't have the slightest idea of (0+ / 0-)

                          what I think, how I am or what I have decided. I answered your question reasonably, based on the evidence that was testified to in the trial, which I have watched EVERY minute of.

                          Don't freaking preach to me, you lame ass, and if you are going to preach your self righteous crap, at least be intelligent about it and state some facts and not a bunch of speculative shit you think you know about other people. You know zero about me, I guarantee you that. End of interaction with you.

                          "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

                          by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:04:05 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  What you did was emphasize (0+ / 0-)

                      a point she said that was highly improbably given the wounds, but because she said it was possibility under very narrow circumstances, that's enough for you. I am advocating using improbabilities to build a case of reasonable doubt without examining the range of evidence together is flawed. I am trying to exam this for consistency understanding that no one person is going to have the entire picture from that night except the defendant, and he's got a reason to lie. Two witnesses, for example, said, as I remember that they heard an argument so I take into account the major claim by the defendant that he was startled by the defendant who attacked him out of the blue. that's a major inconsistency. I look at the wounds, which an expert says is highly unlikely to have been causes as the defendant described, plus I am add to that other testimony from Friday, and I again catch the defendant's story in a major inconsistency. As others have pointed out, he claims the screaming at the end was his while his mouth was also covered by the victim trying to smother him- another one. I am looking for this because but-for the claim of self defense the homicide isn't justified. We only primarily have the defendant's credibility to go on for what happened. That credibility to me is out the window. It seems for you its not. By the way, if he had closed his mouth up, and not said anything, I may have a different view. But the attempts to cover up, whatever happened that night, is enough for me not to trust what he's saying. Reasonable doubt doesn't require that I believe someone who has been caught in several lies.

            •  Just like a black kid wearing a hoodie to bring a (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              urnumbersix, a2nite

              bag of Skittles to a gunfight.

              For fucks sake. ZimHole is the aggressor. ZimHole has a gun.  And ZimHole is getting owned by Martin who has decided not to eat his Skittles or drink his tea but to kill ZimHole instead. But in order for Martin who is un armed to be the crazed killer he has to get hold of a gun and only ZimHole has one. So even though ZimHole is getting his head pounded into concrete, has taken 25 or 30 punches to his face, and is being suffocated, he sees that Trayvon is going for his holstered gun. Gets the gun 1st despite the horrific beating he's taking and kills Trayvon, who at this point is just a kid with Skittles again, but hey if you're going to skate on cold blooded murder you gotta think fast.

              The one person on that nite who had a gun was ZimHole and in order to pin guilt onto Trayvon he had to make Trayvon the scary black kid trying to get HIS gun away from him. Because ZimHole has already told us Martin said " You're going to die tonight".

              Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman. Hope he pays for it.


          •  Correct on both counts (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:


            Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

            by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:41:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Only if GZ knew (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "The prosecution's witness, last Friday, testified that this kind if head injuries could cause subdural hematoma.  Subdural Hematoma qualifies as "death or great bodily injury."  "

      GZ probably didn't have medical education in the hazards of subdural hematoma. What he doesn't know, he can't claim as contributing to his reasonable belief he was in mortal danger.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:00:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  By those standards anyone can kill and then claim (5+ / 0-)

      fear of being killed.  There has to be a line drawn.

      I think in the end it will be "Trayvon was returning from the store back to his dad's in the rain and had to use his hoodie as an umbrella.  Zimmerman was told not a good idea to follow the boy, cops were coming, but he did so anyway.  Trayvon was afraid and confront Zimmerman, only after Zimmerman continued to follow him for some time.  They argued, Trayvon hit him in fear for his life, Zimmerman hits back and fell (sloppy fighter), bumped his head, got up and shot the boy because he was going to get his arse kicked by a teen.  No one around, pulls out the gun, Trayvon screams, then silence.  Z walks around like "wtf did I just do? Must say he attacked me."

  •  Thanks MB for your continued coverage of (12+ / 0-)

    this. GZ lies are starting to surface. I was a bit frustrated by how slow the prosecution seemed to have been moving but I now understand why they even called GZ bff. They are giving GZ enough rope to "hang" himself

    •  I so hope you are right. I am seeing what I (4+ / 0-)

      perceive to be an extremely lackadaisical response to drilling down with witnesses and objecting to outrageous crap put forth by O'Mara.

      "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

      by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:20:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tactical question for lawyers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It sure seems like GZ's credibility is a weak point worthy of attack.

      Are there reasons not to press the point.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:04:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well his credibility is a bit weak but (0+ / 0-)

        only on side points.

        That in and of itself doesn't prove the case for the prosecution.  The prosecution hasn't disproven any main points of what GZ has said and has corroborated most of it.  Remember, he told his story to police twice before he knew any of the other evidence. He had been held without seeing  or talking to anyone or being in electronic contact with anyone.  That's pretty strong.

        The prosecution has been reduced, IMHO, to trying to prove that he was mistaken in believing he was in imminent danger.  But that isn't enough.  It has to prove that he was not only mistaken, but unreasonably mistaken.  That is a very high hurdle in this case.  Credibility won't do it, IMHO.

  •  To me, the prosecution's biggest problem (6+ / 0-)

    is that, in the prosecution's case in chief, through witness after witness, the prosecution keeps letting Zimmerman "tell" his story to the jury, without cross examination.  And while there are minor variations in details (which the prosecution's own witnesses have testified are to be expected and are not significant) the basic story is pretty consistent -- Zimmerman says he was attacked by Martin, and Martin was on top of him beating him in the head when Zimmerman shot.  If the prosecution needs the jury to find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this did NOT happen, why do they keep telling the jury this story over and over and over through witness after witness, with the only seeming purpose is so that the prosecution can try to find minor inconsistencies?  For example, did Martin move to grab for Zimmerman's gun, or did he actually grab for Zimmerman's gun, or did he grab the holster? Why does the prosecution focus on that, when regardless of which of those happened, they are all based on the premise that Martin was on top of him, beating on  his head?  

    It's almost as if the prosecution has it backwards -- that if THEY can create a reasonable doubt about Zimmerman's story, that's enough for a conviction.  In fact, the law in Florida is that it is the other way around -- the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it is NOT self-defense.  

    What the prosecution has done is let Zimmerman "tell" his story over and over and over through others, without being subject to cross examination.  They are then trying to pick apart the details, as if they just need to create doubt about Zimmerman's story.  They have not, as far as I can tell, given the jury THEIR narrative about what happened after Zimmerman got off that call -- where were they when Z and M first came face to face?  Did Z just walk up to him and shoot?  How did they get to the point where Mr. Good saw Martin on top of Zimmerman  throwing punches down toward Zimmerman -- or is Mr. Good lying?  How did Z sustain the injuries?  What is the story that the prosecution wants the jury to believe beyond a reasonable doubt?  

    If the prosecution is the one that has the burden of proof here, I would think that, in their own case with their own witnesses, they would focus on what they contend happened in those last moments, rather than letting Zimmerman tell his story over and over through others and then just pick apart the details (that's what they typically would do during the defense case).  I'm not sure what the strategy is here.

    •  They're letting him "tell" it over & over (6+ / 0-)

      and picking it apart till the jury understands that it can't have happened the way he says it did. If the jury doesn't believe him all they're left with is a dead 17 year old that was walking home from the store & the defendant who has already admitted killing him.

      "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

      by Siri on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:23:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And Z told his story again with that film of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, a2nite

      walk-through. He got to tell his side of the story with a visual. As though he had testified. Hell, it is a testimony. With no rebuttal thus far.

      "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

      by collardgreens on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:35:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most likely Z won't testify. (0+ / 0-)

        So, first the State presented his testimony via videos. Now comes the rebuttal by other witnesses. The State can't force Z to testify, but they need his statements to show he's full of shit.

    •  He keeps telling a different story n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, worldlotus, doroma
      •  Tbh it doesn't look that way. His story (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Seems consistent but I don't know why we're arguing this on GZ terms. The screams stop as soon as the gun goes off, no way could that have been Zimmerman. But the prosecution didn't push on that. Where is the theory that trayvon feared for his own life? Why are people under the impression that trayvon was fighting Zimmerman for no reason?

        Bottom line the prosecution is horrible and they will lose the case because of that. They don't press at all.

        "I'm not mad at them (tea party) for being loud, I'm mad at us for being silent for the last two years. Where have we been"? "it was never yes HE can, it was Yes WE can". - Van Jones

        by sillycilla on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:35:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What part of his story seems consistent (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2, rubyr, doroma, happymisanthropy

          b specific

          Along this thread I see peop,e doing what you re doing

          The part where he says he got out of his car to check for the location?

          That's been disproven by the fact he was standing next to the very information he said he was seeking?

          Tne part where he wasn't following TM? multiple witnesses demonstrate that can't possibly be true

          The part where he says the victime jumped him>

          At least 2, if not three witnesses testified there was an argument

          The part where he says he was slammed against the concrete 25 times or so?

          No evidence corraborates that? His best witness was Friday with the guy saying Tm was on top, and that guy said there was no concrete involved. He in fact strangely says that TM was engaged in MMA style fighting although its actually Zimmerman who was trained in MMA style fighting.

          The part where he tells one story to his best frinend  in gthe wolrd?

          My question is- what's consistent here beyond the fact that you generally believe him without specifying why you believe someone who has lied and you know thisf or fact based on the evidence so far

          Remember, again, your belief of what happened depends solely on believing him

          We haven't even fully gotten into the physical evidence yet, which contradicts the defendant

          for example the location of the body, which I wo uld love for you others explain rather than speaking in generalities

        •  point of clarification (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2, rubyr

          let me be specific on one fact

          Zimmerman claims that the victim jumped him out o the bushes by surprise.

          That's his specific account of what happened.

          Multiple witnesses said they heard an argument first

          How does any of that indicate he was jumped by surprise from a bush?

          How does anything he says corraborate his claim of why he was where he and the victim was in teh first place?

          If you aren't asking those questions, then you aren't asking whether his statements are conistent with him saying he was in fear of his life because those are the specific elements that he stated made him be in fear of his life

          Thats what I am looking for from you.

    •  Consider this possiblity coffeetalk (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The local prosecutor didn't want to prosecute this case.  Many years ago, when I was a young prosecutor, I sat in on conferences on murder cases I had worked up.  The first question after the evidence was discussed was, "can we prove this beyond a reasonable doubt?"  If the answer was no, the case was not indicted, at least not as a murder two.  Sometimes it was charged as a manslaughter, sometimes not charged.  The prosecution in this case was forced by publicity to charge this and has probably known from the get go they couldn't get a conviction.

      Much as people may believe what they believe, there is no case here and never has been.  No one saw how the fight started.  The physical evidence is consistent with what Zimmerman says.  Yes, it might be consistent with other versions in which he might be guilty, but there is no evidence that those versions happened.  We have no independent evidence of the crucial seconds.  The absence of evidence means acquittal.  

      •  I actually agree with you BUT (0+ / 0-)

        Do we completely disregard Rachel's testimony of Zimmerman approaching Trayvon? And what about that witness who testified the day before John good who said she saw Zimmerman getting up after the gun went off and was on top? She was a Spanish speaker and had to have a translator, I don't remember her name.

        "I'm not mad at them (tea party) for being loud, I'm mad at us for being silent for the last two years. Where have we been"? "it was never yes HE can, it was Yes WE can". - Van Jones

        by sillycilla on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:29:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem with the hispanic witness (0+ / 0-)

          was that she said she determined that the larger man was on top.  On cross she admitted that she determined who was larger by comparing the picture of TM when he was 12, in the red shirt and in his football uniform when he was also considerably younger than the day of the incident, to the police station video of GZ.  Her testimony could only be read to say the larger was on top.  Since TM was considerably taller than GZ, although lighter, her testimony was wasn't very strong.

          As to Rachel, we may want to believe her, but she has too many problems with her testimony.  She said she lied to make Trayvon's mother feel better.  Her first sworn statement was taken with Tryavon's mother sitting next to her the whole time.  This calls all her statements that day into question.   It also calls all her statements into question.  

          She also added various things at various times.  She didn't say anything about the "get back" comment at first.  She said that it could have been TM yelling for help, because he uses that little squeaky voice sometimes.  (My memory, she said little something voice.)  This is not strong voice id.  Essentially she said it didn't sound like him but could be a false voice he used.  

          Also, it can't be just that the jury believes she might have been telling the truth about who approached who.  Even if they believe that GZ approached first, that is not a crime as the investigating officer said.  It is who threw the first blow.  That is unknowable at this point.  One could suspect that GZ approached with gun drawn and planned to just shoot TM in cold blood, but that would defy all logic.  He had called the police, was on the phone with them seconds before.  If he planned to just shoot TM, then how did he get beaten up first?  How did he plan to get away.  

          Any version other than GZ's has more credibility problems than his version does.  

  •  Stupidity: (5+ / 0-)

    Allowing the Fox interview in when the defendant has taken the Fifth. He gets to testify, but without cross-examination.

    State's throwin' this one.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:16:05 PM PDT

    •  Do you think that they are intentionally throwing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka, a2nite

      it or that they are just lazy and inept?

      The legal commentater on the Live Feed station cannot believe that the State allowed those five vids to come in yesterday and then the Hannity interview today. He says that this act by the State guarantees that GZ won't have to testify or be cross examined.
      What say you about that?

      "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

      by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:23:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wasn't aware of the Live Feed commentary... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rubyr, sillycilla

        ....but I agree that the prosecution should not have brought in the videos.  It doesn't guarantee that Zimmerman won't have to testify. The Fifth Amendment gives him that right. But you can't cross-examine  Zimmerman unless he testifies and the video allows him to get in his side of the story. In small inconsistencies will get lost in his larger narrative.

        As to whether the State is throwing this, these actions are so negligent as to be tantamount to intentionally throwing the case.

        The prosecution should also have instructed their primary witness on how to behave on the witness stand (not on what to say, but on how to behave).

        What will we do when this man goes free? I dread to think of it.

        If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

        by Bensdad on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:39:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, I think the prosecution is just as you say. (0+ / 0-)

          We will wait and, in time, GZ will harm or kill another young black person. His history of violence is fairly well documented. When he gets away with this, it will be all systems go, IMHO.

          "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

          by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:44:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  P.S. I just cannot understand why the State (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          takes no pride in their work and would allow themselves to look so grossly negligent. I just do not get it.

          The Live Feed commentator just said that because those vids came in, GZ won't HAVE to testify, whereas, before he would have and could have been challenged on all of his bullshit. (He did not say "his bullshit", my words.)

          "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

          by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:47:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What he means is Zimmerman won't.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rubyr, shanikka

            .....NEED to testify to get his side of the story in. We sometimes say we don't "have to" do something when what we mean is we don't "need" to do something. I learned the distinction, though, when I was a child. I was fidgeting and my mom kept telling me I should go to the bathroom.

            I told her I don't have to, over and over and she got more insistent. Finally, I said "I don't  NEED to". She understood and immediately stopped insisting I go to the bathroom and she just let me fidget. : )

            Zimmerman doesn't NEED to testify now.

            If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

            by Bensdad on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:20:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Don't forget Zimmermans dad was a former judge (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Serino did initially want to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter but someone from higher up told him to back off.

            "I'm not mad at them (tea party) for being loud, I'm mad at us for being silent for the last two years. Where have we been"? "it was never yes HE can, it was Yes WE can". - Van Jones

            by sillycilla on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:54:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I understand what you are saying (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HappyinNM, rubyr

          About the the defendent's right not to testify and it shouldn't be held against him and jurors are instructed in just that, but I couldn't help but to think, wtf, this guy will go on public tv and tell his story but he wouldn't testify and tell the jury deciding his fate directly.

          I know that I am having a hard time squaring that, and the fact that Z was the aggressor and approached M, on neighborhood watch, yet somehow Z was the one who felt in fear for his life and M was the one killed.

          Stranger things have happened so I will not be surprised with the outcome either way.

          Another point I want to make after having jserved on a domestic violence, rape, assault and battery and kidnapping case, the judges instructions are very very important as are the legal definitions of reasonable doubt etc. Each charge has elements that the jury has to have those elements legally defined as well. Those were huge in my case as I was frankly surprised with some of the definitions. For example, assault was any unwanted touching however slight.

           So in my case for instance , for one of the charges of assault, the defendent in my case said they went to hug the accuser after they had argued and that explains the touching and that the accuser and when that happened they lost their balance and fell and caused the wounds to the accuser. The accuser said that they fell as the accuser was trying to get away, and the defendent tackled them.

          Either way we looked at it and said, it was clear the accuser in this case did not want to be touched...however slight as they both agreed in testimony to the arguing and the testimony showed they were still arguing  later. And plus there were visible wounds from photos.  We said  it was and met the criteria /elements of assault however slight as it was clearly unwanted touching, even if it was a hug, as the defendent admitted to touching the accuser, who did not want to be touched at the time in the heat of the argument. Just makes you really think about things....breaking everything down into details.

          Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

          by emal on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:07:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Z can go on TV and tell his story because no (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rubyr, a2nite

            one will challenge him. If he testifies in court, he has to be cross examined. That's why most defense attorneys try really hard to keep their clients off the stand.

            In your case, those were the judge's instructions. But did you know that assault can be just a menacing look? That's why the charge is typically assault and battery.

    •  Disagree that the state is throwing this one (12+ / 0-)

      Zimmerman is testifying through that tape and the prosecution is cutting down every single lie with blood or wounds on Marrtin's hands, etc.  He thinks he's so cute no taking the stand, but he gave way too many statements that contradict each other.

      Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

      by PsychoSavannah on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:58:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Fox statement actually helped the (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sukeyna, shanikka, vcmvo2, worldlotus, rubyr, doroma

      prosecution quite a bit.

      What is being shown here are all the various stories the defendant has told.

  •  I've been watching in the morning before work (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janemas, collardgreens, PorridgeGun, rubyr

    And I agree partially with this statement:

    Because so many state witnesses have answered questions in ways that give at least some credibility to Zimmerman and his version of what happened, many observers—whatever their perspective was before the trial began—are now expressing doubt about the prosecution's wisdom of charging him with second-degree murder instead of manslaughter, which requires a much lower threshold of proof.
    My gut feeling is the prosecution does not want to succeed at all, they are just going through the motions cuz they have to.

    -6.25 -5.3 If I ever leave this world alive The madness that you feel will soon subside...

    by dansk47 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:43:41 PM PDT

  •  If I was on the jury (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    collardgreens, HappyinNM, rubyr

    If I was on the jury, I would have one overriding question:  

    If, as Zimmerman said, he was punched 20 to 30 times in the face AND his head was pounded into a concrete sidewalk, why didn't his face and the back of his head look like hamburger?  

    Now I'm not saying this is a slam dunk case for the prosecution and 2nd degree murder, but there would be these nagging questions.  

    Whether this all leads to a conviction of 2nd degree murder remains to be seen.  But as a jury member, I'd have a hard time squaring the injuries to the claims by Zimmerman.  

  •  Provocation negates self-defense (9+ / 0-)

    what we seem to be forgetting here, and what the prosecution must focus on, is that the self-defense analysis does not start with the physical confrontation between TM and GZ, but rather with whether GZ provoked the confrontation, which the evidence strongly suggest he did.  In such a case, it doesn't matter whether GZ feared for his safety or for his life.

    •  He's demonstrated that through allt he other (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, worldlotus, rubyr


      He won't really pull it together until closing

      The testimony is demonstrating provocation and that the defendant was lying to say he did not provoke

    •  Coffeetalk has discussed the error ... (0+ / 0-)

      of this logic in many comments in prior diaries.  No need to recover the same ground here, again, but you might want to go look them up.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:41:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Coffeetalk is clearly biased in favor of GZ. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:25:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  CT strikes me as... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...being someone who assumes "innocent until proven guilty" and who has at least a rudimentary understanding of the legal system (unlike some who comment on this case).

          If that is "biased" towards defendants, that is sort of what a juror, for example, is supposed to be. Jurors, at least in my jurisdiction, given multiple equally likely explanations for anything, must pick the one that most favors the defendant's guilt.

          The fact that someone did something doesn't mean they should be convicted. The state has to prove their case with facts, not emotions.

          •  CT is an attorney, ... (0+ / 0-)

            clearly one of the better ones as she's able to keep bias out of her efforts to help explain the technicalities of this and other legal matters.

            "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

            by Neuroptimalian on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:30:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The prosecutor seems to be just going through (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hulibow, PorridgeGun, rubyr, a2nite

    the motions, from what I've seen. He's not speaking for Trayvon, as he should be, at least not so far IMO.
    Zimmerman took a loaded gun to hunt that young man down. He could've left the weapon in his vehicle. He should've stayed inside his vehicle as he was requested.
    But, no, Zero wanted to be a hero.
    I am so concerned Zimmerman will be acquitted. Even his weight gain has served to make him appear cherubic and non-threatening. He looks quite different from the lean wanna-be cop of that tragic February evening.

    "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

    by collardgreens on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:58:21 PM PDT

  •  I too am finding the Prosecutor kinda lame and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hulibow, PorridgeGun, rubyr

    slow. I realized this when I was yelling at the TV this morning during his questioning Serino the second time and the number of times he let the defense get away with bringing nuanced terms to many things without an objection. I was yelling at the TV like this was a football game for a moment and I was very disappointed with my team (the prosecution). There were so many little points like everyone agreeing to call the second interview with Serino/Singleton and Zimmerman - the "challenge" as "Mr. O Mara calls it". That got irritating. He didn't even question or object when the Defense repeatedly referred to Mr. Zimmerman's "broken nose" which apparently was never verified by any medical personnel of any kind as broken. He did exaggerate his "injuries" and exaggerated his multiple accounts of the actual encounter. "WTF HOMEY!?!" - no way that's real.

    De La Rionda is missing too many openings and questions here and it his turn to do so. I hope he gets a chance at re-direct later during the defense's presentation.
    Zimmerman killed this kid, made up stories, and fully expects to get away with it.

    I thik Serino tried to make up for some sins from yesterday in that he corrected the defense atty on several small points when it was clear he thought the Prosecutor should have done so.

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.-Mark Twain

    by Havoth on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:01:53 PM PDT

  •  Might be a strategic decision, not a mistake (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HappyinNM, vcmvo2, worldlotus, rubyr, doroma

    If "hey, man . . ." and "WTF's your problem" are both in the record, the prosecutor can draw the jury's attention to the discrepancy in closing arguments.  Some of the best arguments are built from facts elicited that are not immediately joined up to a narrative for the jury.  Connect the dots too early in the case and the defense can spend the rest of the trial muddying the waters.  Leave the evidence unconnected and they won't want to remind the jury of the inconsistency.  Though it's tempting to cover a trial with a play-by-play, it's possible that there is a longer game being played.  

  •  relax everyone. forensics is next. State is (5+ / 0-)

    building case into a crescendo. They cannot play their best eggs immediately. I have pretty much watched this whole trial on MSNBC. GZ has presented by audio and video testimony a too tightly scripted case without major holes (his pathology) but enough minor holes to add up in the end to a conviction, if not manslaughter. The way he said things went just are not possible, just like the exaggeration of his injuries. I only hope the younger prosecutor presents the final summation.....he seems much more likely to connect with the jury. The final summation will be critical. I do not think the state is throwing it and MSNBC has NOT declared GZ not guilty.

  •  So many decided this case a year ago... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UbuRoi, brooklyn137

    against Zimmerman and nothing will change their minds, as the diary and comments evidence.

  •  sick society (4+ / 0-)

    If Martin was white, and Zimmerman black--would the rooting sections be reversed?  No doubt, we are still a racist society-- yet the SCOTUS doesn't see that.

    Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

    by melvynny on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:11:32 PM PDT

  •  I tell you these wannabes are scary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HappyinNM, rubyr

    Our neighbor has EMT/Firefighter written all over everything - stickers and survival gear and fucking lights on his truck. When the other neighbor went down hard from a heart attack my husband saved his life w/CPR while the EMT dude stood there! It was insane - my husband only knew what he learned 40 years ago on Resu-Annie. But he did get right in there when the real FD showed up, until they started questioning who the fuck he was after the ambulance left.

    So he gets a monster motorcycle and I'm walking by the other day and say "nice bike" - and note the blue little bars above the taillight. He says the one he bought needed to be painted black because he uses it for "patrol" (and he said patrol a number of times in one sentence, just in case I missed it) - patrolling what??? WTF? I don't know if he's armed, he's kind of a pussy. I had to cut 2 x 4's and screw them in the fence for him - and I'm a girl.

    Anyway, he reminds me of an older Zimmerman.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:15:32 PM PDT

  •  What's the public defender situation like in FL? (0+ / 0-)

    Are the juries in that part of Florida "hanging juries" prone to trust the cops?  

    Los Angeles County was infamous for incompetent or overstretched public defenders.  Prosecutors skated their ways to convictions.  It did not help that jurors tended to side with the cops.  

    The problem with that for prosecutors is that such jurisdictions make them flabby and dull.  When a defendant capable of securing counsel and defending himself in court shows up, the prosecution shrivels and defenders who should not walk, walk.

    "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

    by Yamaneko2 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:22:23 PM PDT

  •  Limiting follow-up on police interview sensible? (0+ / 0-)
    It was obvious from the taped-recorded "challenge tactics" that were part of Serino's interview with Zimmerman that the detective wasn't buying his story, at least not all of it.
    This is not surprising as it's typical for police to appear to not be buying the suspect's story during phases of the interrogation process. The testimony did touch on this general notion, but the prosecution probably doesn't want to emphasize it too much.

    If the jury is wobbling between "beyond reasonable doubt" and "not beyond reasonable doubt" and the defendant's minor misstatements are a factor, the prosecution would not want interrogation techniques that can confuse/mislead the suspect to be emphasized as that could cause the jury to give more latitude to the defendant.

    Remember, Zimmerman is not on trial for perjury or misleading a LEO so impeaching him should not be a central focus of the prosecution's case - they need to have a fairly strong case even if Zimmerman had never opened his mouth.

    The testimony from the police was that Zimmerman appeared relieved that there was (which there really wasn't) a video recording of the whole event. That's going to help Zimmerman (although that was related to the testimony that was eventually struck, I don't believe that portion was). I think juries find such tricks a bit distasteful. It was probably wise for the prosecution not to emphasis such techniques which include "challenge tactics".

  •  Zimmerman walks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soros, brooklyn137, davidinmaine

    I have watched a lot of the trial and the prosecution has shown they got in a fight That alone leaves reasonable doubt.
    They overcharged Zimmerman they may have had a shot at manslaughter not second degree. Unless they have some killer close  no way they get a conviction.
    There is no way to say for sure if Zimmerman feared for his life. They are not making an issue of the fact that if Zimmerman didn't follow him he would be alive today.

  •  I think the prosecution is doing an OK job (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bruh1, vcmvo2, doroma

    They are presenting all of the evidence that was gathered during the investigation both good and bad which is the fair thing for the state to do.

    I don't have a problem with Murder 2 as long as the jury has the option of Manslaughter as well.

  •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think the various stories that Zimmerman has told means that he has to tesify because the jury will be left thinking him a liar and only relying on his account of what actually happened

    That's been the point of the testimony

    •  Nah, he's not going to be on the stand (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bruh1, vcmvo2, buffie, a2nite

      I knew he wasn't going to testify months ago when they released the tape of his walk-through the next day with the officer.

      He got his story out in that tape, he has no need to testify.  There really isn't a way to clarify the inconsistencies except to say that stories change all the time when retold.  He can have his lawyers argue this.

      •  I don't know whether he will take the stand or not (4+ / 0-)

        The problem is that, and many of you seem to gloss this over, he doesn't have one story

        There were many told. It makes it look like a liar.

        And he really can't have this go to jury deliberation when the jury believes him to be a liar since the outcome depends on them believing him

        Put another way, he needs them to believe his account that he was in fear of his life. How does he do that? the Injuries per today don't prove that. So how does he prove it?

        •  His basic story hasn't really changed (0+ / 0-)

          His attorneys are already arguing that he feared for his life because his head was being hit against the concrete and the next blow could kill him; he was choking on his blood and feeling like he was going to pass out; Trayvon Martin threatened to kill him and was grabbing for his gun.

          I'm not saying I believe any of this but his lawyers are already arguing this in their cross examination questioning.

          Unless something changes before the prosecution rests, I don't think there is any chance of seeing him on the stand.

          •  Disagree (4+ / 0-)

            I don't want to go through all the evidence, but if you listen (or in my case read summaries) for consistency, his story varies on that critical element in ways that means he's lyiin g

            And by lying I mean- he feared due to a gun in one account, he feared because the victim was smothering him in another, and in yet another he feared because his head was being slammed 25-30 times against concrete and on and on.

            Its not enou gh to say "I feared for my life" and then give multiple accounts that are at odds with each other as far as all of them being true

            The main problem with your statemnent is your view of the inconsistency doesn't ask 'can they all be true"

            The answer is no. One opf the above o more has to be false unless the victim was an octopus.

            You expect some variation- I was hit 10 times when it was 5. I think he may have seen the gun rather than certain that he was and was trying in various version to eithe reach for it or saw it or etc

            Then there's the following the victim. He variously was looking for a street address that was easier to find just standing where he was, the location of the victims body (which by the way also doesn't back his claim about his head being beat against concrete) the upcoming ballistics, etc

            When you say its consistent, I don't know honestly what you mean

            It can be some vague "well he said some story about being afraid for his life" it has to be shown that he was in fact afraid  for his life as far as it being reasonable

            Given multipel accounts including one in which he says by the way he wasn't afraid for his life is not going to cut it

            I think if he had shut his mouth after the incident you may be right, but he didn't

            he gave very extreme versions that cannot all be true

            And there in lies the problem

            •  None of this will be helped by him (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bruh1, a2nite

              taking the stand.

              We'll have to wait and see.

            •  I also have a HUGE problem with his (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              explanation of his jacket moving up and TM seeing his gun, which was on his right SIDE in a holster that was hooked to the top of his pants.

              TM is allegedly on top of him with his legs up around his armpits (as testified to today). Yet, he manages to look around his own legs and down and over far enough to see a black holster in the pitch dark. Why the State did not challenge this is way beyond me.

              To see the gun by just looking down, TM would have had to be
              sitting on GZ's pelvis, which would have made it much easier for GZ to sit up and fight back, he would not have been pinned down. It makes no sense whatsoever, yet the prosecutor has let that go right on by time and again. Maybe as many as 10 or 15 times this has been said and is unchallenged.

              "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

              by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:44:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's the other element of this case (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                a2nite, rubyr

                One has to believe a lot of improbabilities happening one on top of each other to believe his story "as is"

                On the one hand, if it was just the improbabilities, I could see reasonable doubt because while improbable that's something to rest one's belief on

                OTH, if you are telling me this guy is getting caught in multiple versions of the story and has been caught in a few lies, and you are still telling me your doubt is reasonable because you believe his improbable story, I question the source of the doubt.

            •  Fear of loss of life is not uni-dimensional (0+ / 0-)
              And by lying I mean- he feared due to a gun in one account, he feared because the victim was smothering him in another, and in yet another he feared because his head was being slammed 25-30 times against concrete and on and on.
              Isn't it possible to fear for your life for several reasons in sequence or concurrently? Did he ever say the only reason he feared for his life was "X"? For example, I suspect that soldiers who stormed Normandy Beach and survived it might attribute the reasons for fearing death somewhat differently each time since there were a number to choose from.

              In which interview did he say he didn't fear for his life? That's interesting. I've never tracked down and watched the TV interview he did so am not very knowledgeable of that.

              I would point out that if you know you have overwhelming lethal force (a gun) to end a situation but would not use it except as a very last resort and with great reluctance due to the gravity of that decision, it's not unreasonable to view fear of your life from two perspectives.

              In one, you consider if you fear your life if you don't take that very difficult decision to pull your gun and kill the attacker.

              In the other, you don't really feel in strong fear of your life only because you know you can end the situation by pulling and using your firearm but with deadly results for the other party.

              I.e., you're only in fear of your life if you don't kill the attacker but if you have a strong aversion to killing the attacker, you remain in fear of your life until you DO kill the attacker. Two different views depending on context.

              •  The problem again is that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Denise Oliver Velez, Patango

                there are multiple versions of what he said happened that night

                The reality is I am not interesting in sorting out which version

                I leave that to others who feel the need to figure out which story is true. My threshold question when someone is telling me multiple version isn't sorting the versions. My threshold is to understand that i am dealing with a liar

                if the jury buys your approach, he will be acquitted. If they buy minds, he won't be.

                At the end of the day, your positions requires trusting  a man who has lied to you. Mines doesn't.

          •  by the way, the main thesis (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I am making, is that even if you make allowances, the variation, and indeed the hyperbole brings up issues of whether he can be trusted

            How does he get around that with the jury?

            There's just too much wild shit that happened afterwards to say "they didn't mean their burden" Their burden actually not being met relies primarily if not entirely on believing the defendant

            If you decide he's a liar, for whatever reason, that makes tbelieving him harder to do, not easier.

            •  What you seem to see as large... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ...inconsistencies, others may see as normal human recall issues.

              There's a lot of inconsistencies (and even some incredible claims) in the testimony we have heard. Both within the testimony of one witness and across witnesses. Of course, the jury will have to weigh this testimony. But, they will have to realize that almost no one's significant testimony is without inconsistencies, so they will have to accept some such inconsistencies or just throw out all the testimony and decide "not proven" and declare "not guilty".

              Ms. Jeantel is the worst witness to date and she lacks all credibility. If I were on the jury, I would give her uncorroborated testimony a weight of zero -- and would not consider it either true or false regardless of if it tended to implicate or exonerate Zimmerman. The final straw for me was that she could tell that the headphones fell on something that sounded like "wet grass" and apparently first realized that 16 months later! Mind you, not dry grass, concrete, dirt, a bush, a hoodie, or a pile of dog poop - wet grass. The defense should have asked more about this but I think they were stunned by the the blatancy of the fabrication -- they dropped the ball there. I would have asked questions such as, "What objects have you heard the type of headset that Martin was wearing fall on/against in the past and when/where?", "Can you describe the difference between the sound of a headset falling on 'wet' and 'dry' grass?", "Would you say the grass was short (long)?" [assuming the grass was in fact long (short)], "Could you identify the species of grass from the sound", "Could you tell from the sound if that area of grass had good drainage?", etc.).

              Similarly, I pretty much would ignore much of the testimony of the friend who wrote the book. I would probably only consider what he personally observed or participated in (such as selection of a firearm for Zimmerman to carry, or the holster/gun configuration, or what Zimmerman's demeanor was when he exited the elevator at the police station). What Zimmerman said to his friend about the events of that night in the wee hours of the next morning I would pretty much ignore -- it's second hand, it's coming from a very tired Zimmerman, being told to a likely very tired friend (who had, apparently, been at the police station for hours) who was driving and not taking notes and probably more interested in letting his friend "vent" than digging into every detail.

              While I would like to see a nice unbiased and factual and "in context" list of inconsistencies in Zimmerman's own versions of events. I would certainly accept some inconsistencies. He was called upon multiple times to recount in great detail and initially under stress.

              For example, if Zimmerman used the term "grab" one time and "grab at" another time when referring to the gun, I would take into account that he was on his back (supposedly) fending off an attack at the time (supposedly) and his visual focus was likely not on the holster on his right(?) side - feeling Martin's hand groping around that area for a few milliseconds and a pull on something would leave him uncertain if Martin had actually gripped the gun or perhaps the holster and he could have reasonably considered them sufficiently equivalent to refer to them as one. Such references can actually be ambiguous based on personal context -- for example, if I say "I touched the window", some people would interpret that as that I had touched a pane of glass in the window while I would say that if I had touched the window frame (having installed windows, I think of a window as something that includes the entire frame around it). The next time when recounting the event, I might say that I touched the "window frame". To some, that would be an "inconsistency", to me it would not be.

              As well, visual cues remind people of details that they may have not recalled without those cues - esp. after a stressful sequence of both mundane and unusual events that occur quickly. I noticed, for example, in the walk-through, over by the "T", Zimmerman was recounting what happened and corrected an omission when he looked around. I'd give the defendant the benefit of the doubt on a few occurrence like this as long they were consistent with normal human recall issues. I would, for example, expect fuller recall of events if the person being interviewed can walk through the scene where they can point out things rather than have to explain every such thing in detail and it's exact location verbally while sitting in a 8x10 interview room far removed from the scene. This is not unlike when you are trying to think of an ex coworker's name from a decade ago -- you can see the face, know what they worked on, even recall their voice, but their name escapes you. Later, their name crosses your mind and you are certain that is name -- but you would have had to say a few hours earlier "I  don't remember their name". Similarly, I can completely forget that I put a new bar of soap in the shower this morning if asked to recount my routine this morning, but when I see a bar of soap, I recall the event with 100% certainty.

              You really want me on your jury that decides guilt -- you don't, however, want me on your jury that decides sentence for serious crimes. I'm one of those jurors who creates hung juries by voting for acquittal based on facts, not emotions.

          •  one other point- if the testimony (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            comes out about the professor and zimmerman knowing about the SYG defense, for example, that will yet more evidence of his tendency to lie, and again his credibility here is the defense's case for claiming self defense

            How do they prove he feared for his life when his injuries don't demonstrate that

            And yes, i know the burdens, but I also know human nature. You are a jury. You are sitting their looking at the evidence. You are being asked to believe someone you believe is lying to you. DO you make logical inference that they are telling you the truth with what happened if you are dependent on believing that the victim was going to kill him or do you decide he's a liar so I can't trust his account and decide not to excuse him for the cdeath?

  •  Bottom line should be... (6+ / 0-)

    If Zimmerman didn't have an idiot white knight complex, and had simply followed the instructions of the 911 operator, none of this would have happened. Trayvon would have gone home with his skittles, and that's it.

    Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

    by walk2live on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:37:09 PM PDT

  •  Where's the "self-inflicted crowd"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UbuRoi, WillR

    The medical examiner said Trayon's finger abrasion was consistent with having punched a person, and nobody (prosecutor or defense) has implied the injuries were self-inflicted.

  •  I thinl a case for a Federal appeal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kingfishstew, a gilas girl, rubyr

    has already been made necessary. That is the fact that the Mayor of Sanford is sitting right there in the first pew behind the defence. Which is clearly intimidating Police testimony.

    •  Necessary or possible? (0+ / 0-)

      What the feds will do remains to be seen, but that option is always there.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. (Click on orange text to go to linked content.) Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:04:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm curious, by which side... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...and on what grounds?

      Normally appeals of course would go through the state courts and the prosecution rarely has any grounds for appeal anyway (that double jeopardy thing, you know).

      I suppose Zimmerman might have a US Constitutional issue, to appeal to the Federal courts on but I don't know what that would be (although, we don't know all that may have happened in jury selection for example). The usual self-incrimination and unreasonable search avenues don't seem likely here as Zimmerman has cooperated at most every turn and waived those.

      Perhaps you think the Federal Government would launch some sort of prosecution of the Mayor? Even if they did, I don't think that would overturn a jury verdict of Not Guilty for Zimmerman. If there were some contention that Zimmerman was guilty of some Federal crime in this case (again, I've not heard of any such claims, but then it hasn't been being discussed much in the media and forums), then the Feds could initiate new prosecution of Zimmerman on those Federal crimes, not an "appeal".

    •  Interesting. How did you know who he is? n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

      by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:46:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The prosecution doesn't have much to work with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Their argument is basically this: nothing george zimmerman says can be believed.  But will that persuade the jury to ignore all of the evidence that confirms what George said happened that night?  Doubt it.

    To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

    by soros on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:11:32 PM PDT

    •  Evidence? By evidence you mean ZimHole's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rubyr, doroma, a2nite

      last man standing version of events? Two eye witnesses contradict him. Taped statements he has made contradict each other. His life threatening injuries are bad scratches and a swollen nose. And there is no DNA from Martin on his gun or holster. Martin hit 25 or 30 times and only had slight abrasions on 2 fingers. And z doesn't have a fat lip or swollen ears, no moused eye, split eyebrow, broken teeth, or lumps on his cheeks or forehead. The medical examiner reduced the number of blows to one or maybe two.

      ZimHole is a lying machine. And it may get him off.

      •  Reality check. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        First the prosecution must prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. That's, intentionally, a high bar.

        Not all eyewitnesses contradict Zimmerman, so if the jury weights all eyewitness as equally credible, reliable, and competent, they have little choice but to accept the testimony of the one that supports Zimmerman. All eyewitnesses were hampered by light and vision issues. Some were uncertain about details that should have been obvious if they had a good view. The jury will decide what weight to give to the conflicting eyewitnesses, and that's how it should be.

        You can legally use deadly force to defend yourself even if you haven't sustained any injuries, let alone life threatening injuries. You just have to be in "reasonable fear of serious injury or loss of life" (depending on the jurisdiction). That can obviously happen without having sustained ANY injuries.

        Lack of DNA is generally not very compelling - the presence can, on the other hand, be. Not every touch leaves DNA in sufficient quantities/quality to identify a person and not every bit of DNA on an object is necessarily captured in the lab. If every touch left identifiable DNA and any quantity and quality of DNA could be be used to identify a person, most people would have thousands of people's DNA on their hands at any instant in time - every door handle you touch would leave behind traces of all the DNA on your hands and you would pick up traces of all the DNA on the hands of everyone who touched that door since it was last thoroughly cleaned.

        If Zimmerman hunted down Martin to kill himself "a punk" that night (as the prosecutor's opening statement suggested - although there were a lot of checks written there and there are not yet sufficient funds in the account to cover them - the defense needs to pick up the pace here or have some very surprising evidence in their aresenal) and gets off, I suspect he will end up in jail eventually just as O J Simpson did. Hotheads who break the law usually do it again.

        •  I appreciate the limitations and confines of the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Denise Oliver Velez, Patango

          law z is charged with. And maybe he had no intention of shooting anyone that nite when left home with a gun to go grocery shopping, but his behavior was so reckless and dangerous that an innocent kid is dead because of his very poor judgement.

          If he has been overcharged and he can't be, or isn't convicted of manslaughter this dangerous calculating loon is going to free amongst us, armed, proven dangerous, and feeling bullet proof.

          And that kid deserved his life. It is galling that z may wipe his life off his shoe like it was dog shit.    

      •  Yep. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Denise Oliver Velez

        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:48:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  State Investigator Dale Gilbreath at the initial (0+ / 0-)

      bond hearing for GZ:

      "We have Mr. Zimmerman's statements, we have the shell casings and we had Mr. Martin's body"  (emphasis mine)

      We have not yet heard testimony on the location of the spent shell casings in reference to the position of the body of Trayvon Martin. This analysis will tell another part of the unfolding story.

      I just cannot believe that the investigators were slouches-whether in following through with GZ statements nor later via forensics.

      It was obvious that at least two police officers found contradictions within GM statements at the initial interview & that was without forensics/autopsy reports.

       I would imagine (& hope) that when the state took over, they found further evidence to warrant Mr. Galbreath's statement at the initial bond hearing.

      •  Won't really mean very much (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        where the shell casing was found because of two things.  The first being is that the scene had been trampled by over a dozen people before it was located.  Who knows if it had been kicked around and moved.  The second thing is that the direction of where the Kel Tec PF-9 ejects casings can be quite random.. sometimes behind, sometimes in front, or to the left or to the right...

        To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

        by soros on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 03:54:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  His life-threatening laceration has been (4+ / 0-)

    downgraded to an owie.

  •  One thing that no one is discussing is that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfe, greenearth, a2nite, Patango

    the neighbor testified that GZ asked him to call his wife and tell her what happened. The neighbor said that he was explaining what happened and GZ said "Just tell her I shot somebody."

    Seems pretty cavalier to me. That dude is a psycho-psychopath.
    No one is that cool after shooting another human being unless they have no human feelings. He claims he didn't know he hit him. Well, a big hint was that TM was still on the ground and had a yellow tarpaulin over him, which indicates deceased. If, while GZ was in the back of the cop car and getting medical attention, he did not see TM standing unharmed or being loaded into an ambulance to go to the hospital, then he had to know he was dead, yet claimed to the cop that he didn't.

    The neighbor was clearly astounded at GZ's behavior and said it seemed like GZ was annoyed that he was not telling GZ's wife fast enough. NO REMORSE, whatsoever. None.  

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:56:51 PM PDT

    •  His Reenactment is eerie too (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, Meteor Blades, Patango, rubyr

      The very next day he goes back to the crime scene to reenacts the events. He speaks in an overly polite soft voice with little emotion. Perhaps its shock but he does not seem like someone recounting a terrifying fight for his life. He does not have the normal hesitations that someone really trying to remember what actually occurred.

      •  Some on the jury may catch that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it is like he is talking to his buddies describing a regular fight , not a murder , and the cops coaching him along makes you want to puke scream

        The incompetence of the kkklan Stanford PD has been impossible to ignore when you add their public reaction to the case following the murder , had they just done their jobs this case would not be so questionable

        They found GZ not guilty , and felt zero obligation to leave that up to a jury , no wonder they wanted nothing to do with TM's mom and dad , seeing them made them realize how fucked up they are

        Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

        by Patango on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:05:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks MB (0+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 04:57:33 AM PDT

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