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George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

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George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Wed 11 Apr - 20:16

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/george-zimmerman-to-be-charged-in-trayvon-martin-shooting-law-enforcement-official-says/2012/04/11/gIQAHJ5oAT_story.html

By Sari Horwitz, Updated: Wednesday, April 11,

Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey plans to announce as early as Wednesday afternoon that she is charging neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, according to a law enforcement official close to the investigation.

It was not immediately clear what charge Zimmerman will face.

Martin, 17 and unarmed, was shot and killed Feb. 26 by Zimmerman, who said he was acting in self-defense. Police in Sanford, Fla., where the shooting took place, did not charge Zimmerman, citing the state’s “stand your ground” law.

Corey told reporters Tuesday night that she would hold a news conference about the case within 72 hours. A news release from her office said the event will be held in Sanford or Jacksonville, Fla.

Benjamin Crump, who is representing the Martin family, said this week that Corey’s office had asked where Trayvon’s parents would be each day this week. They arrived Wednesday in Washington for a civil rights conference organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton, where they spoke to reporters.

Sabryna Fulton and Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s parents, said they would not comment on the charges because they had not been personally notified. They scheduled a press conference for 5 :15 p.m.

Earlier reports that Zimmerman’s lawyers said they did not know where he was did not bother Trayvon’s parents, they said.

“We do have faith in the justice system. When it is time to arrest him, they will find him,” Fulton said.

The announcement of a charge against Zimmerman would come a day after Zimmerman’s attorneys withdrew from the case, citing their inability to contact Zimmerman.

Lawyers Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig on Tuesday expressed concern about Zimmerman’s emotional and physical well-being, saying he has taken actions without consulting them. They also said they do not know where Zimmerman is.

“You can stop looking in Florida,” Uhrig told reporters. “Look much further away than that.”

Corey said Monday that she would not bring the case before a grand jury, which was expected to convene this week. She said her decision to forgo the grand jury should not be viewed as an indication of whether charges will be filed.

Corey has indicated in recent weeks that she might not need a grand jury to bring charges against Zimmerman.

The lawyers said they stand by their assertions that Zimmerman acted in self-defense when he killed the 17-year-old, who was unarmed, but they acknowledged that they formed their impressions without meeting Zimmerman.




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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Wed 11 Apr - 22:51

Breaking news on sky. Zimmerman is in custody and will be charged with second degree murder.

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  kitti on Thu 17 May - 20:25

The report from Zimmerman's family doctor the day after the killing claimed he suffered a "closed fracture" of his nose, two black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury.




He didn't get THAT tripping over a pavement ...


The boy had lacerations on his knuckles...

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Thu 17 May - 23:07

kitti wrote:The report from Zimmerman's family doctor the day after the killing claimed he suffered a "closed fracture" of his nose, two black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury.




He didn't get THAT tripping over a pavement ...


The boy had lacerations on his knuckles...

And it amazes me that the media photo of Trayvon is of him at around 12 years old, looking like a sweet little lad, whereas he was around 6' tall when he was shot.

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  kitti on Fri 18 May - 7:53

And drugs were found in the boys blood on autopsy ....


Obama getting involved makes me wonder ....if the boy was white would he still off got involved...



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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  kitti on Fri 18 May - 12:15

And president Obama said...if he had a son, he would want a child just like HIM!!!


I wouldn't want a son who takes drugs, would you.

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Fri 18 May - 12:18

kitti wrote:And president Obama said...if he had a son, he would want a child just like HIM!!!


I wouldn't want a son who takes drugs, would you.

Since Obama is mixed race, his son probably wouldn't have looked like Trayvon. Obama could have called for reconciliation and calm, but instead, he fanned the flames of racism, which possibly contributed to the 'revenge attacks,' on whites by mobs of blacks saying they were doing it 'for Trayvon.'

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Fri 18 May - 12:26

Video on this page of the latest news release.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/cops-witnesses-back-george-zimmermans-version/story?id=16371852#.T7Yw5sWIg_9

A long article, from which this is an extract.

Zimmerman, 28, is a multi-racial Hispanic man who volunteered for the neighborhood watch committee who claimed that he shot Martin in self-defense after the 6-foot tall, 160 pound teenager knocked him to the ground, banged his head against the ground and went for Zimmerman's gun.

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Mon 21 May - 20:38



A more recent photo of Trayvon

The image going out in the media.


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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Mon 21 May - 21:35


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George Zimmerman acquitted

Post  Not Born Yesterday on Sun 14 Jul - 11:26

http://news.sky.com/story/1115466/trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-acquitted

Let's hope that this doesn't lead to more unrest.

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  Claudia79 on Sun 14 Jul - 11:40

This is simply outrageous and would have never ever happened had Martin been white.
Let's see the difference, shall we:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

20 years for firing a warning shot.
Like I read on twitter: "Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder." I'm simply disgusted.

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Sun 14 Jul - 11:49

Claudia79 wrote:This is simply outrageous and would have never ever happened had Martin been white.
Let's see the difference, shall we:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

20 years for firing a warning shot.
Like I read on twitter: "Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder." I'm simply disgusted.

Unfortunately, the State did not prove its case, which was not helped by the testimony of the prosecution's "star witness" Rachel Jeantel, who was a better witness for the defence, especially when she referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker," a term for a white person. I felt for this woman, who had dictated her statement to a friend and then couldn't read it in court as she couldn't "...read cursive."

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  Claudia79 on Sun 14 Jul - 11:58

AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:This is simply outrageous and would have never ever happened had Martin been white.
Let's see the difference, shall we:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

20 years for firing a warning shot.
Like I read on twitter: "Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder." I'm simply disgusted.

Unfortunately, the State did not prove its case, which was not helped by the testimony of the prosecution's "star witness" Rachel Jeantel, who was a better witness for the defence, especially when she referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker," a term for a white person. I felt for this woman, who had dictated her statement to a friend and then couldn't read it in court as she couldn't "...read cursive."

The reason why the state didn't prove its case was because Martin was a black boy. As always. Interesting to see that in the case I published above, the law was pretty straight forward. But then again, the defendant was black. Well, it's just another black boy killed, like I read somewhere. I despair at the planet we inhabit. I really do. Well, not the planet, really. The inhabits of the planet.

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  Claudia79 on Sun 14 Jul - 12:03

Black Defendants Still Majority of Wrongfully Convicted


http://wrongfulconvictionsblog.org/2013/05/14/black-defendants-still-majority-of-wrongfully-convicted/

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Sun 14 Jul - 12:08

Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:This is simply outrageous and would have never ever happened had Martin been white.
Let's see the difference, shall we:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

20 years for firing a warning shot.
Like I read on twitter: "Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder." I'm simply disgusted.

Unfortunately, the State did not prove its case, which was not helped by the testimony of the prosecution's "star witness" Rachel Jeantel, who was a better witness for the defence, especially when she referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker," a term for a white person. I felt for this woman, who had dictated her statement to a friend and then couldn't read it in court as she couldn't "...read cursive."

The reason why the state didn't prove its case was because Martin was a black boy. As always. Interesting to see that in the case I published above, the law was pretty straight forward. But then again, the defendant was black. Well, it's just another black boy killed, like I read somewhere. I despair at the planet we inhabit. I really do. Well, not the planet, really. The inhabits of the planet.

I don't think it was as straightforward as that. The defence had much better witnesses and more than one prosecution witness did a great job for the defence. There was an "expert" forensic witness who testified that because of the angle of the bullet trajectory, Trayvon was definitely on top of Zimmerman. The State did not have a good answer to this and I think that carried a lot of weight.

I think there was the shock factor as well concerning Trayvon's image in the media, which was that of him at 12 years old. I think subsequent images of him as a six feet, cannabis-smoking teen came as a shock. (I don't have a problem with the smoking of cannabis by the way!)

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  Claudia79 on Sun 14 Jul - 12:56

AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:This is simply outrageous and would have never ever happened had Martin been white.
Let's see the difference, shall we:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

20 years for firing a warning shot.
Like I read on twitter: "Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder." I'm simply disgusted.

Unfortunately, the State did not prove its case, which was not helped by the testimony of the prosecution's "star witness" Rachel Jeantel, who was a better witness for the defence, especially when she referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker," a term for a white person. I felt for this woman, who had dictated her statement to a friend and then couldn't read it in court as she couldn't "...read cursive."

The reason why the state didn't prove its case was because Martin was a black boy. As always. Interesting to see that in the case I published above, the law was pretty straight forward. But then again, the defendant was black. Well, it's just another black boy killed, like I read somewhere. I despair at the planet we inhabit. I really do. Well, not the planet, really. The inhabits of the planet.

I don't think it was as straightforward as that. The defence had much better witnesses and more than one prosecution witness did a great job for the defence. There was an "expert" forensic witness who testified that because of the angle of the bullet trajectory, Trayvon was definitely on top of Zimmerman. The State did not have a good answer to this and I think that carried a lot of weight.

I think there was the shock factor as well concerning Trayvon's image in the media, which was that of him at 12 years old. I think subsequent images of him as a six feet, cannabis-smoking teen came as a shock. (I don't have a problem with the smoking of cannabis by the way!)

But that is exactly the problem. When the victims are poor and black, the defence is always better than the prosecution. The same way when the victims are poor and the defendants rich, the defence is always better than the prosecution. This would have never been the verdict had Travin been white and Zimmerman black. No matter the height, the weight, or the drug habits of the victim. And that is truly the drama.

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  Claudia79 on Sun 14 Jul - 13:12

A couple of quotes by Toni Morrison, a female black writer I wrote a thesis on:


"Black boys became criminalized. I was in constant dread for their lives, because they were targets everywhere. They still are."

"In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate."

"I'm always annoyed about why black people have to bear the brunt of everybody else's contempt. If we are not totally understanding and smiling, suddenly we're demons."







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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Sun 14 Jul - 13:19

Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:This is simply outrageous and would have never ever happened had Martin been white.
Let's see the difference, shall we:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

20 years for firing a warning shot.
Like I read on twitter: "Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder." I'm simply disgusted.

Unfortunately, the State did not prove its case, which was not helped by the testimony of the prosecution's "star witness" Rachel Jeantel, who was a better witness for the defence, especially when she referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker," a term for a white person. I felt for this woman, who had dictated her statement to a friend and then couldn't read it in court as she couldn't "...read cursive."

The reason why the state didn't prove its case was because Martin was a black boy. As always. Interesting to see that in the case I published above, the law was pretty straight forward. But then again, the defendant was black. Well, it's just another black boy killed, like I read somewhere. I despair at the planet we inhabit. I really do. Well, not the planet, really. The inhabits of the planet.

I don't think it was as straightforward as that. The defence had much better witnesses and more than one prosecution witness did a great job for the defence. There was an "expert" forensic witness who testified that because of the angle of the bullet trajectory, Trayvon was definitely on top of Zimmerman. The State did not have a good answer to this and I think that carried a lot of weight.

I think there was the shock factor as well concerning Trayvon's image in the media, which was that of him at 12 years old. I think subsequent images of him as a six feet, cannabis-smoking teen came as a shock. (I don't have a problem with the smoking of cannabis by the way!)

But that is exactly the problem. When the victims are poor and black, the defence is always better than the prosecution. The same way when the victims are poor and the defendants rich, the defence is always better than the prosecution. This would have never been the verdict had Travin been white and Zimmerman black. No matter the height, the weight, or the drug habits of the victim. And that is truly the drama.

Trayvon Martin was not a poor black kid. His father lives in a gated community and is a Freemason Grand Master.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wr7MwJWoRl8

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  Claudia79 on Sun 14 Jul - 13:47

AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:This is simply outrageous and would have never ever happened had Martin been white.
Let's see the difference, shall we:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

20 years for firing a warning shot.
Like I read on twitter: "Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder." I'm simply disgusted.

Unfortunately, the State did not prove its case, which was not helped by the testimony of the prosecution's "star witness" Rachel Jeantel, who was a better witness for the defence, especially when she referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker," a term for a white person. I felt for this woman, who had dictated her statement to a friend and then couldn't read it in court as she couldn't "...read cursive."

The reason why the state didn't prove its case was because Martin was a black boy. As always. Interesting to see that in the case I published above, the law was pretty straight forward. But then again, the defendant was black. Well, it's just another black boy killed, like I read somewhere. I despair at the planet we inhabit. I really do. Well, not the planet, really. The inhabits of the planet.

I don't think it was as straightforward as that. The defence had much better witnesses and more than one prosecution witness did a great job for the defence. There was an "expert" forensic witness who testified that because of the angle of the bullet trajectory, Trayvon was definitely on top of Zimmerman. The State did not have a good answer to this and I think that carried a lot of weight.

I think there was the shock factor as well concerning Trayvon's image in the media, which was that of him at 12 years old. I think subsequent images of him as a six feet, cannabis-smoking teen came as a shock. (I don't have a problem with the smoking of cannabis by the way!)

But that is exactly the problem. When the victims are poor and black, the defence is always better than the prosecution. The same way when the victims are poor and the defendants rich, the defence is always better than the prosecution. This would have never been the verdict had Travin been white and Zimmerman black. No matter the height, the weight, or the drug habits of the victim. And that is truly the drama.

Trayvon Martin was not a poor black kid. His father lives in a gated community and is a Freemason Grand Master.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wr7MwJWoRl8

I wasn't speaking of Martin. I was speaking of poor victims vs rich victims and white victims vs black victims. As for the youtube video, I can't give any credit to it. In fact, reading some of the comments on it made me sorry I just had lunch. "Martin was an Illuminati/Masonic sacrifice".

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Sun 14 Jul - 13:58

Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:This is simply outrageous and would have never ever happened had Martin been white.
Let's see the difference, shall we:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

20 years for firing a warning shot.
Like I read on twitter: "Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder." I'm simply disgusted.

Unfortunately, the State did not prove its case, which was not helped by the testimony of the prosecution's "star witness" Rachel Jeantel, who was a better witness for the defence, especially when she referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker," a term for a white person. I felt for this woman, who had dictated her statement to a friend and then couldn't read it in court as she couldn't "...read cursive."

The reason why the state didn't prove its case was because Martin was a black boy. As always. Interesting to see that in the case I published above, the law was pretty straight forward. But then again, the defendant was black. Well, it's just another black boy killed, like I read somewhere. I despair at the planet we inhabit. I really do. Well, not the planet, really. The inhabits of the planet.

I don't think it was as straightforward as that. The defence had much better witnesses and more than one prosecution witness did a great job for the defence. There was an "expert" forensic witness who testified that because of the angle of the bullet trajectory, Trayvon was definitely on top of Zimmerman. The State did not have a good answer to this and I think that carried a lot of weight.

I think there was the shock factor as well concerning Trayvon's image in the media, which was that of him at 12 years old. I think subsequent images of him as a six feet, cannabis-smoking teen came as a shock. (I don't have a problem with the smoking of cannabis by the way!)

But that is exactly the problem. When the victims are poor and black, the defence is always better than the prosecution. The same way when the victims are poor and the defendants rich, the defence is always better than the prosecution. This would have never been the verdict had Travin been white and Zimmerman black. No matter the height, the weight, or the drug habits of the victim. And that is truly the drama.

Trayvon Martin was not a poor black kid. His father lives in a gated community and is a Freemason Grand Master.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wr7MwJWoRl8

I wasn't speaking of Martin. I was speaking of poor victims vs rich victims and white victims vs black victims. As for the youtube video, I can't give any credit to it. In fact, reading some of the comments on it made me sorry I just had lunch. "Martin was an Illuminati/Masonic sacrifice".

Claudia, Trayvon's father is a Freemason Grand Master. It's on his Facebook page!

Anyway, here's an interesting article on the case

http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/13/5564997/state-never-proved-its-case-legal.html

By DAVID OVALLE
The Miami Herald
Published: Saturday, Jul. 13, 2013 - 1:00 am
MIAMI -- After five weeks of trial and 56 witnesses, few legal observers believed prosecutors came close to proving Sanford, Fla., neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman committed second-degree murder when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

So for many legal analysts, it was no surprise that jurors rejected even a lesser "compromise" verdict of manslaughter, acquitting Zimmerman outright of all criminal charges and deciding he acted in a reasonable way to protect his own life.

The acquittal was a stinging blow for prosecutors and their decision to file the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman, who was not initially arrested by Sanford police after claiming self-defense. And it was a resounding embrace of the defense's strategy during closing arguments not just to establish that prosecutors hadn't proven Zimmerman guilty, but also to show he was "absolutely" innocent.

"The jury clearly believed that you have a right to defend yourself," said Jude M. Faccidomo, the former president of Miami's Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "Especially when cases are so gray, like this one was, self-defense really resonates because people can associate with being afraid."

And while some also have questioned the state attorney's office acceptance of a mostly white jury, a more diverse panel would have returned the same verdict, lawyers who have watched the case believe.

"After seeing the quality of the evidence presented by the state, the diversity of the jury really didn't matter in the end," said Larry Handfield, a prominent African American Miami criminal defense lawyer. "But it would have helped the community in giving more credibility to the decision to acquit Zimmerman."

By now, the basic outline of the confrontation between the 29-year-old volunteer watch coordinator and the 17-year-old Miami Gardens, Fla., student have become familiar through wall-to-wall television coverage and thousands of news stories.

Prosecutors said Zimmerman "profiled" Martin, who was returning from a nearby convenience store and was walking through the gated Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood where he was staying with his father.

Zimmerman called a non-emergency police number to report Martin as "suspicious." A violent struggle followed on rain-slicked grass and a concrete walkway. During the confrontation, Zimmerman shot and killed Martin at point-blank range.

A look at the evidence shows why the jury rejected the state's case. For prosecutors intent on proving the more serious charge, proving the "ill-will," "hatred" or "spite" needed to convict on second-degree murder hinged on painting Zimmerman as a frustrated, would-be cop fed up with intruders in his gated Sanford community.

To do so, they focused on Zimmerman's past - over defense objections - introducing evidence of his interest in law enforcement, including a ride-along with Sanford police, a class on criminal justice, an unsuccessful application to a Virginia police department.

Prosecutors also played five calls to police that Zimmerman made in the several months before the shooting, in an attempt to show a pattern of "profiling." They also introduced evidence about his membership at a mixed martial arts gym.

Their most important evidence to prove "ill-will" was Zimmerman's call to a Sanford police non-emergency dispatcher when he first spotted Martin, saying "these assholes always get away" and, according to prosecutors, muttering "fucking punks" under his breath

"If there was ever a window into that man's soul, it was that defendant's words on that phone call," prosecutor John Guy told the jury Friday in a poignant closing argument that appeared to have at least one juror emotionally strained.

Guy's closing argument was typical of a state's case that drew heavily on emotion and emphasized the youth of the victim, as well as one of the most important witnesses: Martin's friend, Rachel Jeantel, 18 at the time of the shooting.

She was speaking to him by phone moments before he died and recounted her recollection that Martin told her someone was following him.

Jeantel told jurors that Martin told her of a "creepy-ass cracker" watching him as he walked home from the convenience store, and of hearing the man angrily demand to know what Martin was doing in the neighborhood.

Jeantel said she then heard a bump that she assumed was Martin's cell phone headset hitting the ground, followed by Martin's voice: "Get off! Get off!"

Her testimony was not polished or articulate, and she sparred for hours with defense attorneys - at one point crying "what!" when told she had to return for a second day of testimony. But her story remained unchanged.

"I thought she was a good witness. I thought the jury would be sympathetic to her because she was an (18)-year-old kid, she was inexperienced at testifying and that made her come across as credible," said Miami defense lawyer Andrew Rier.

Zimmerman's prosecution was made tougher under Florida's 2005 Stand Your Ground law, which eliminated a citizen's "duty to retreat" before using lethal force in the face of a deadly threat - an instruction given to jurors on Friday. And the state's case also was filled with blunders, legal experts say.

Many of the witnesses called by the state seemed to benefit the defense, including one neighbor, John Good, who claimed he saw Martin pin Zimmerman to the ground. Another witness, Sanford Police officer Tim Smith, told jurors that Zimmerman, just after the shooting, claimed he was yelling for help to no avail. Both pieces of testimony seemed to bolster the defense's version of the encounter.

Prosecutors also called the lead Sanford police investigators, using them to introduce each of Zimmerman's videotaped statements and a walk-through of the crime scene Zimmerman did with police a day after Martin's death.

During one of the statements, lead Detective Chris Serino seemed skeptical when Zimmerman insisted he never "followed" Martin. While there were some inconsistencies between his accounts of what happened, they seemed fairly small, court observers said. And defense attorneys got Serino to agree during testimony that it's normal for stories to vary slightly with each re-telling.

Legal observers noted that playing the videos in court eliminated the need for Zimmerman himself to take the stand - a tactic that may have helped the defense by allowing Zimmerman's voice to be heard in court without risk of cross-examination.

"I think it was a strategic error (for the state) to allow him to testify without getting cross-examined," Faccidomo said. "I don't think the inconsistencies carried as a great a weight with the jury as they thought it would."

Serino, on defense questioning, also suggested he believed Zimmerman's account, a statement later stricken from the record by the judge - but nevertheless heard by jurors.

"The state should have objected before he had a chance to answer," said attorney Handfield. "But it's too late. You can't unring the bell. You can't ask the jury to not consider something they already heard. They're human."

Prosecutors also pinned their hopes on a chilling recording of a 911 call made by a neighbor near the fight scene.

After a number of hearings away from the jury, Nelson ruled against prosecutors' request to allow audio experts to testify that Martin was the one crying out for help on the recording before the fatal gunshot is heard. So prosecutors turned to Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, and Jahvaris Fulton, the dead teen's older brother, to identify the voice on the recording as Martin.

They served as powerful emotional witnesses. Sybrina Fulton, head held high, told jurors that she wished that her son hadn't died. "My youngest son is Trayvon Benjamin Martin," she articulated carefully when asked his name. "He's in heaven."

And Jahvaris Fulton recounted for jurors the shock and grief of listening to the recording for the first time.

But their testimony also seemed to spur the defense to call a wave of eight witnesses, from Zimmerman's own mother to his best friend, to make the opposite claim, that the voice crying out for help on the tape was Zimmerman's. The testimony also served a more important purpose: to humanize Zimmerman and show a circle of friends that included an African American neighbor.

In the end, neither the state nor the defense dwelled at length on the recording in closing arguments.

"A battle of family members, of whom you believe more, that's a big prosecution loser," said Jean-Michel D'Escoubet, a former Miami-Dade prosecutor. "The evidence was so conflicted that the jury can't make heads or tails of it. It just muddied up the water and created reasonable doubt."

The defense case suffered some setbacks, too, especially when Nelson on Wednesday refused to allow into evidence text messages from Martin's phone which suggested that the teen was a brawler at home in Miami Gardens. Nor did the judge allow the jury to consider as evidence a high-tech computer animation showing a defense version of how the deadly fight between Zimmerman and Martin unfolded.

But in all, lawyers say, the defense presented a mostly confident, methodical case that sought to pick apart the lack of evidence in the state's case.

Lawyers Mark O'Mara and Don West even shunned the chance to tarnish Martin though Nelson had allowed the defense to introduce the slain teen's toxicology report showing he had smoked marijuana.

"The state would have argued that marijuana doesn't make someone hostile, and the defense probably didn't want to look like they were disparaging Trayvon Martin," Priovolos said.

Their approach was evident at closing arguments. While prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda was mocking and at times shrill, O'Mara was calm and conversational, opening with a long, professorial discussion on the history of trial law, then dissecting the state's case.

Zimmerman's neighborhood watch history? "Tell me one witness who said George Zimmerman patrolled that neighborhood . . . not one," he told jurors.

The sound of the wind on Zimmerman's call to police, suggesting he was chasing Martin? The weather report shows "the wind was up," O'Mara said.

The belief Zimmerman was the aggressor? "One piece of evidence that my client attacked Trayvon Martin?" O'Mara asked jurors. "Landed one blow even?"

Miami defense attorney David O. Markus said that the closings arguments offered something of a role reversal for prosecutors and the defense.

"The initial summation by the prosecution was what you see many times from defense lawyers - passionate and trying to poke holes or raise doubts in Zimmerman's version of events," he said. "On the other hand, the defense accepted the burden of proof and methodically and dispassionately went through the evidence and the elements, much like a prosecutor would normally proceed."

The acquittal vindicated O'Mara's strategy. He not only maintained that the state hadn't proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but riskily admitted he wanted to take on the "burden" of proving his client's "absolute innocence." He even wished, half-playfully, that the verdict form has a check box for "completely innocent."

Under the law, the defense has no burden to prove anything. Only prosecutors must prove a case, beyond a reasonable doubt.

"I really like the strategy," Markus said. "Many times, cases come down to whether you can show the jury that you really believe in your client. What better way to do that than to tell the jury that you aren't relying on burdens of proof but instead that you believe he is innocent?"


_________________________________________________________________________________________________
"You can run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Sooner or later God'll cut you down." (Johnny Cash)

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  Claudia79 on Sun 14 Jul - 14:06

AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:This is simply outrageous and would have never ever happened had Martin been white.
Let's see the difference, shall we:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

20 years for firing a warning shot.
Like I read on twitter: "Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder." I'm simply disgusted.

Unfortunately, the State did not prove its case, which was not helped by the testimony of the prosecution's "star witness" Rachel Jeantel, who was a better witness for the defence, especially when she referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker," a term for a white person. I felt for this woman, who had dictated her statement to a friend and then couldn't read it in court as she couldn't "...read cursive."

The reason why the state didn't prove its case was because Martin was a black boy. As always. Interesting to see that in the case I published above, the law was pretty straight forward. But then again, the defendant was black. Well, it's just another black boy killed, like I read somewhere. I despair at the planet we inhabit. I really do. Well, not the planet, really. The inhabits of the planet.

I don't think it was as straightforward as that. The defence had much better witnesses and more than one prosecution witness did a great job for the defence. There was an "expert" forensic witness who testified that because of the angle of the bullet trajectory, Trayvon was definitely on top of Zimmerman. The State did not have a good answer to this and I think that carried a lot of weight.

I think there was the shock factor as well concerning Trayvon's image in the media, which was that of him at 12 years old. I think subsequent images of him as a six feet, cannabis-smoking teen came as a shock. (I don't have a problem with the smoking of cannabis by the way!)

But that is exactly the problem. When the victims are poor and black, the defence is always better than the prosecution. The same way when the victims are poor and the defendants rich, the defence is always better than the prosecution. This would have never been the verdict had Travin been white and Zimmerman black. No matter the height, the weight, or the drug habits of the victim. And that is truly the drama.

Trayvon Martin was not a poor black kid. His father lives in a gated community and is a Freemason Grand Master.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wr7MwJWoRl8

I wasn't speaking of Martin. I was speaking of poor victims vs rich victims and white victims vs black victims. As for the youtube video, I can't give any credit to it. In fact, reading some of the comments on it made me sorry I just had lunch. "Martin was an Illuminati/Masonic sacrifice".

Claudia, Trayvon's father is a Freemason Grand Master. It's on his Facebook page!

Anyway, here's an interesting article on the case

http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/13/5564997/state-never-proved-its-case-legal.html

By DAVID OVALLE
The Miami Herald
Published: Saturday, Jul. 13, 2013 - 1:00 am
MIAMI -- After five weeks of trial and 56 witnesses, few legal observers believed prosecutors came close to proving Sanford, Fla., neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman committed second-degree murder when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

So for many legal analysts, it was no surprise that jurors rejected even a lesser "compromise" verdict of manslaughter, acquitting Zimmerman outright of all criminal charges and deciding he acted in a reasonable way to protect his own life.

The acquittal was a stinging blow for prosecutors and their decision to file the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman, who was not initially arrested by Sanford police after claiming self-defense. And it was a resounding embrace of the defense's strategy during closing arguments not just to establish that prosecutors hadn't proven Zimmerman guilty, but also to show he was "absolutely" innocent.

"The jury clearly believed that you have a right to defend yourself," said Jude M. Faccidomo, the former president of Miami's Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "Especially when cases are so gray, like this one was, self-defense really resonates because people can associate with being afraid."

And while some also have questioned the state attorney's office acceptance of a mostly white jury, a more diverse panel would have returned the same verdict, lawyers who have watched the case believe.

"After seeing the quality of the evidence presented by the state, the diversity of the jury really didn't matter in the end," said Larry Handfield, a prominent African American Miami criminal defense lawyer. "But it would have helped the community in giving more credibility to the decision to acquit Zimmerman."

By now, the basic outline of the confrontation between the 29-year-old volunteer watch coordinator and the 17-year-old Miami Gardens, Fla., student have become familiar through wall-to-wall television coverage and thousands of news stories.

Prosecutors said Zimmerman "profiled" Martin, who was returning from a nearby convenience store and was walking through the gated Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood where he was staying with his father.

Zimmerman called a non-emergency police number to report Martin as "suspicious." A violent struggle followed on rain-slicked grass and a concrete walkway. During the confrontation, Zimmerman shot and killed Martin at point-blank range.

A look at the evidence shows why the jury rejected the state's case. For prosecutors intent on proving the more serious charge, proving the "ill-will," "hatred" or "spite" needed to convict on second-degree murder hinged on painting Zimmerman as a frustrated, would-be cop fed up with intruders in his gated Sanford community.

To do so, they focused on Zimmerman's past - over defense objections - introducing evidence of his interest in law enforcement, including a ride-along with Sanford police, a class on criminal justice, an unsuccessful application to a Virginia police department.

Prosecutors also played five calls to police that Zimmerman made in the several months before the shooting, in an attempt to show a pattern of "profiling." They also introduced evidence about his membership at a mixed martial arts gym.

Their most important evidence to prove "ill-will" was Zimmerman's call to a Sanford police non-emergency dispatcher when he first spotted Martin, saying "these assholes always get away" and, according to prosecutors, muttering "fucking punks" under his breath

"If there was ever a window into that man's soul, it was that defendant's words on that phone call," prosecutor John Guy told the jury Friday in a poignant closing argument that appeared to have at least one juror emotionally strained.

Guy's closing argument was typical of a state's case that drew heavily on emotion and emphasized the youth of the victim, as well as one of the most important witnesses: Martin's friend, Rachel Jeantel, 18 at the time of the shooting.

She was speaking to him by phone moments before he died and recounted her recollection that Martin told her someone was following him.

Jeantel told jurors that Martin told her of a "creepy-ass cracker" watching him as he walked home from the convenience store, and of hearing the man angrily demand to know what Martin was doing in the neighborhood.

Jeantel said she then heard a bump that she assumed was Martin's cell phone headset hitting the ground, followed by Martin's voice: "Get off! Get off!"

Her testimony was not polished or articulate, and she sparred for hours with defense attorneys - at one point crying "what!" when told she had to return for a second day of testimony. But her story remained unchanged.

"I thought she was a good witness. I thought the jury would be sympathetic to her because she was an (18)-year-old kid, she was inexperienced at testifying and that made her come across as credible," said Miami defense lawyer Andrew Rier.

Zimmerman's prosecution was made tougher under Florida's 2005 Stand Your Ground law, which eliminated a citizen's "duty to retreat" before using lethal force in the face of a deadly threat - an instruction given to jurors on Friday. And the state's case also was filled with blunders, legal experts say.

Many of the witnesses called by the state seemed to benefit the defense, including one neighbor, John Good, who claimed he saw Martin pin Zimmerman to the ground. Another witness, Sanford Police officer Tim Smith, told jurors that Zimmerman, just after the shooting, claimed he was yelling for help to no avail. Both pieces of testimony seemed to bolster the defense's version of the encounter.

Prosecutors also called the lead Sanford police investigators, using them to introduce each of Zimmerman's videotaped statements and a walk-through of the crime scene Zimmerman did with police a day after Martin's death.

During one of the statements, lead Detective Chris Serino seemed skeptical when Zimmerman insisted he never "followed" Martin. While there were some inconsistencies between his accounts of what happened, they seemed fairly small, court observers said. And defense attorneys got Serino to agree during testimony that it's normal for stories to vary slightly with each re-telling.

Legal observers noted that playing the videos in court eliminated the need for Zimmerman himself to take the stand - a tactic that may have helped the defense by allowing Zimmerman's voice to be heard in court without risk of cross-examination.

"I think it was a strategic error (for the state) to allow him to testify without getting cross-examined," Faccidomo said. "I don't think the inconsistencies carried as a great a weight with the jury as they thought it would."

Serino, on defense questioning, also suggested he believed Zimmerman's account, a statement later stricken from the record by the judge - but nevertheless heard by jurors.

"The state should have objected before he had a chance to answer," said attorney Handfield. "But it's too late. You can't unring the bell. You can't ask the jury to not consider something they already heard. They're human."

Prosecutors also pinned their hopes on a chilling recording of a 911 call made by a neighbor near the fight scene.

After a number of hearings away from the jury, Nelson ruled against prosecutors' request to allow audio experts to testify that Martin was the one crying out for help on the recording before the fatal gunshot is heard. So prosecutors turned to Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, and Jahvaris Fulton, the dead teen's older brother, to identify the voice on the recording as Martin.

They served as powerful emotional witnesses. Sybrina Fulton, head held high, told jurors that she wished that her son hadn't died. "My youngest son is Trayvon Benjamin Martin," she articulated carefully when asked his name. "He's in heaven."

And Jahvaris Fulton recounted for jurors the shock and grief of listening to the recording for the first time.

But their testimony also seemed to spur the defense to call a wave of eight witnesses, from Zimmerman's own mother to his best friend, to make the opposite claim, that the voice crying out for help on the tape was Zimmerman's. The testimony also served a more important purpose: to humanize Zimmerman and show a circle of friends that included an African American neighbor.

In the end, neither the state nor the defense dwelled at length on the recording in closing arguments.

"A battle of family members, of whom you believe more, that's a big prosecution loser," said Jean-Michel D'Escoubet, a former Miami-Dade prosecutor. "The evidence was so conflicted that the jury can't make heads or tails of it. It just muddied up the water and created reasonable doubt."

The defense case suffered some setbacks, too, especially when Nelson on Wednesday refused to allow into evidence text messages from Martin's phone which suggested that the teen was a brawler at home in Miami Gardens. Nor did the judge allow the jury to consider as evidence a high-tech computer animation showing a defense version of how the deadly fight between Zimmerman and Martin unfolded.

But in all, lawyers say, the defense presented a mostly confident, methodical case that sought to pick apart the lack of evidence in the state's case.

Lawyers Mark O'Mara and Don West even shunned the chance to tarnish Martin though Nelson had allowed the defense to introduce the slain teen's toxicology report showing he had smoked marijuana.

"The state would have argued that marijuana doesn't make someone hostile, and the defense probably didn't want to look like they were disparaging Trayvon Martin," Priovolos said.

Their approach was evident at closing arguments. While prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda was mocking and at times shrill, O'Mara was calm and conversational, opening with a long, professorial discussion on the history of trial law, then dissecting the state's case.

Zimmerman's neighborhood watch history? "Tell me one witness who said George Zimmerman patrolled that neighborhood . . . not one," he told jurors.

The sound of the wind on Zimmerman's call to police, suggesting he was chasing Martin? The weather report shows "the wind was up," O'Mara said.

The belief Zimmerman was the aggressor? "One piece of evidence that my client attacked Trayvon Martin?" O'Mara asked jurors. "Landed one blow even?"

Miami defense attorney David O. Markus said that the closings arguments offered something of a role reversal for prosecutors and the defense.

"The initial summation by the prosecution was what you see many times from defense lawyers - passionate and trying to poke holes or raise doubts in Zimmerman's version of events," he said. "On the other hand, the defense accepted the burden of proof and methodically and dispassionately went through the evidence and the elements, much like a prosecutor would normally proceed."

The acquittal vindicated O'Mara's strategy. He not only maintained that the state hadn't proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but riskily admitted he wanted to take on the "burden" of proving his client's "absolute innocence." He even wished, half-playfully, that the verdict form has a check box for "completely innocent."

Under the law, the defense has no burden to prove anything. Only prosecutors must prove a case, beyond a reasonable doubt.

"I really like the strategy," Markus said. "Many times, cases come down to whether you can show the jury that you really believe in your client. What better way to do that than to tell the jury that you aren't relying on burdens of proof but instead that you believe he is innocent?"


And even if he is, what has that got to do with anything?
Do you really believe that if an armed black man had killed and unarmed white boy he would have walked free? Here in Portugal he would have been convicted simply for carrying a gun. In fact, there are cases of Police Officers convicted for killing suspects they were chasing because they shot them before shooting warning shots. A boy is dead. The person who killed him and who was carrying the gun was acquitted. That makes me sick.

ETA: and I don't even want to go into the dangerous precedent this verdict can set...

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Sun 14 Jul - 14:14

Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:This is simply outrageous and would have never ever happened had Martin been white.
Let's see the difference, shall we:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

20 years for firing a warning shot.
Like I read on twitter: "Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder." I'm simply disgusted.

Unfortunately, the State did not prove its case, which was not helped by the testimony of the prosecution's "star witness" Rachel Jeantel, who was a better witness for the defence, especially when she referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker," a term for a white person. I felt for this woman, who had dictated her statement to a friend and then couldn't read it in court as she couldn't "...read cursive."

The reason why the state didn't prove its case was because Martin was a black boy. As always. Interesting to see that in the case I published above, the law was pretty straight forward. But then again, the defendant was black. Well, it's just another black boy killed, like I read somewhere. I despair at the planet we inhabit. I really do. Well, not the planet, really. The inhabits of the planet.

I don't think it was as straightforward as that. The defence had much better witnesses and more than one prosecution witness did a great job for the defence. There was an "expert" forensic witness who testified that because of the angle of the bullet trajectory, Trayvon was definitely on top of Zimmerman. The State did not have a good answer to this and I think that carried a lot of weight.

I think there was the shock factor as well concerning Trayvon's image in the media, which was that of him at 12 years old. I think subsequent images of him as a six feet, cannabis-smoking teen came as a shock. (I don't have a problem with the smoking of cannabis by the way!)

But that is exactly the problem. When the victims are poor and black, the defence is always better than the prosecution. The same way when the victims are poor and the defendants rich, the defence is always better than the prosecution. This would have never been the verdict had Travin been white and Zimmerman black. No matter the height, the weight, or the drug habits of the victim. And that is truly the drama.

Trayvon Martin was not a poor black kid. His father lives in a gated community and is a Freemason Grand Master.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wr7MwJWoRl8

I wasn't speaking of Martin. I was speaking of poor victims vs rich victims and white victims vs black victims. As for the youtube video, I can't give any credit to it. In fact, reading some of the comments on it made me sorry I just had lunch. "Martin was an Illuminati/Masonic sacrifice".

Claudia, Trayvon's father is a Freemason Grand Master. It's on his Facebook page!

Anyway, here's an interesting article on the case

http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/13/5564997/state-never-proved-its-case-legal.html

By DAVID OVALLE
The Miami Herald
Published: Saturday, Jul. 13, 2013 - 1:00 am
MIAMI -- After five weeks of trial and 56 witnesses, few legal observers believed prosecutors came close to proving Sanford, Fla., neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman committed second-degree murder when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

So for many legal analysts, it was no surprise that jurors rejected even a lesser "compromise" verdict of manslaughter, acquitting Zimmerman outright of all criminal charges and deciding he acted in a reasonable way to protect his own life.

The acquittal was a stinging blow for prosecutors and their decision to file the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman, who was not initially arrested by Sanford police after claiming self-defense. And it was a resounding embrace of the defense's strategy during closing arguments not just to establish that prosecutors hadn't proven Zimmerman guilty, but also to show he was "absolutely" innocent.

"The jury clearly believed that you have a right to defend yourself," said Jude M. Faccidomo, the former president of Miami's Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "Especially when cases are so gray, like this one was, self-defense really resonates because people can associate with being afraid."

And while some also have questioned the state attorney's office acceptance of a mostly white jury, a more diverse panel would have returned the same verdict, lawyers who have watched the case believe.

"After seeing the quality of the evidence presented by the state, the diversity of the jury really didn't matter in the end," said Larry Handfield, a prominent African American Miami criminal defense lawyer. "But it would have helped the community in giving more credibility to the decision to acquit Zimmerman."

By now, the basic outline of the confrontation between the 29-year-old volunteer watch coordinator and the 17-year-old Miami Gardens, Fla., student have become familiar through wall-to-wall television coverage and thousands of news stories.

Prosecutors said Zimmerman "profiled" Martin, who was returning from a nearby convenience store and was walking through the gated Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood where he was staying with his father.

Zimmerman called a non-emergency police number to report Martin as "suspicious." A violent struggle followed on rain-slicked grass and a concrete walkway. During the confrontation, Zimmerman shot and killed Martin at point-blank range.

A look at the evidence shows why the jury rejected the state's case. For prosecutors intent on proving the more serious charge, proving the "ill-will," "hatred" or "spite" needed to convict on second-degree murder hinged on painting Zimmerman as a frustrated, would-be cop fed up with intruders in his gated Sanford community.

To do so, they focused on Zimmerman's past - over defense objections - introducing evidence of his interest in law enforcement, including a ride-along with Sanford police, a class on criminal justice, an unsuccessful application to a Virginia police department.

Prosecutors also played five calls to police that Zimmerman made in the several months before the shooting, in an attempt to show a pattern of "profiling." They also introduced evidence about his membership at a mixed martial arts gym.

Their most important evidence to prove "ill-will" was Zimmerman's call to a Sanford police non-emergency dispatcher when he first spotted Martin, saying "these assholes always get away" and, according to prosecutors, muttering "fucking punks" under his breath

"If there was ever a window into that man's soul, it was that defendant's words on that phone call," prosecutor John Guy told the jury Friday in a poignant closing argument that appeared to have at least one juror emotionally strained.

Guy's closing argument was typical of a state's case that drew heavily on emotion and emphasized the youth of the victim, as well as one of the most important witnesses: Martin's friend, Rachel Jeantel, 18 at the time of the shooting.

She was speaking to him by phone moments before he died and recounted her recollection that Martin told her someone was following him.

Jeantel told jurors that Martin told her of a "creepy-ass cracker" watching him as he walked home from the convenience store, and of hearing the man angrily demand to know what Martin was doing in the neighborhood.

Jeantel said she then heard a bump that she assumed was Martin's cell phone headset hitting the ground, followed by Martin's voice: "Get off! Get off!"

Her testimony was not polished or articulate, and she sparred for hours with defense attorneys - at one point crying "what!" when told she had to return for a second day of testimony. But her story remained unchanged.

"I thought she was a good witness. I thought the jury would be sympathetic to her because she was an (18)-year-old kid, she was inexperienced at testifying and that made her come across as credible," said Miami defense lawyer Andrew Rier.

Zimmerman's prosecution was made tougher under Florida's 2005 Stand Your Ground law, which eliminated a citizen's "duty to retreat" before using lethal force in the face of a deadly threat - an instruction given to jurors on Friday. And the state's case also was filled with blunders, legal experts say.

Many of the witnesses called by the state seemed to benefit the defense, including one neighbor, John Good, who claimed he saw Martin pin Zimmerman to the ground. Another witness, Sanford Police officer Tim Smith, told jurors that Zimmerman, just after the shooting, claimed he was yelling for help to no avail. Both pieces of testimony seemed to bolster the defense's version of the encounter.

Prosecutors also called the lead Sanford police investigators, using them to introduce each of Zimmerman's videotaped statements and a walk-through of the crime scene Zimmerman did with police a day after Martin's death.

During one of the statements, lead Detective Chris Serino seemed skeptical when Zimmerman insisted he never "followed" Martin. While there were some inconsistencies between his accounts of what happened, they seemed fairly small, court observers said. And defense attorneys got Serino to agree during testimony that it's normal for stories to vary slightly with each re-telling.

Legal observers noted that playing the videos in court eliminated the need for Zimmerman himself to take the stand - a tactic that may have helped the defense by allowing Zimmerman's voice to be heard in court without risk of cross-examination.

"I think it was a strategic error (for the state) to allow him to testify without getting cross-examined," Faccidomo said. "I don't think the inconsistencies carried as a great a weight with the jury as they thought it would."

Serino, on defense questioning, also suggested he believed Zimmerman's account, a statement later stricken from the record by the judge - but nevertheless heard by jurors.

"The state should have objected before he had a chance to answer," said attorney Handfield. "But it's too late. You can't unring the bell. You can't ask the jury to not consider something they already heard. They're human."

Prosecutors also pinned their hopes on a chilling recording of a 911 call made by a neighbor near the fight scene.

After a number of hearings away from the jury, Nelson ruled against prosecutors' request to allow audio experts to testify that Martin was the one crying out for help on the recording before the fatal gunshot is heard. So prosecutors turned to Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, and Jahvaris Fulton, the dead teen's older brother, to identify the voice on the recording as Martin.

They served as powerful emotional witnesses. Sybrina Fulton, head held high, told jurors that she wished that her son hadn't died. "My youngest son is Trayvon Benjamin Martin," she articulated carefully when asked his name. "He's in heaven."

And Jahvaris Fulton recounted for jurors the shock and grief of listening to the recording for the first time.

But their testimony also seemed to spur the defense to call a wave of eight witnesses, from Zimmerman's own mother to his best friend, to make the opposite claim, that the voice crying out for help on the tape was Zimmerman's. The testimony also served a more important purpose: to humanize Zimmerman and show a circle of friends that included an African American neighbor.

In the end, neither the state nor the defense dwelled at length on the recording in closing arguments.

"A battle of family members, of whom you believe more, that's a big prosecution loser," said Jean-Michel D'Escoubet, a former Miami-Dade prosecutor. "The evidence was so conflicted that the jury can't make heads or tails of it. It just muddied up the water and created reasonable doubt."

The defense case suffered some setbacks, too, especially when Nelson on Wednesday refused to allow into evidence text messages from Martin's phone which suggested that the teen was a brawler at home in Miami Gardens. Nor did the judge allow the jury to consider as evidence a high-tech computer animation showing a defense version of how the deadly fight between Zimmerman and Martin unfolded.

But in all, lawyers say, the defense presented a mostly confident, methodical case that sought to pick apart the lack of evidence in the state's case.

Lawyers Mark O'Mara and Don West even shunned the chance to tarnish Martin though Nelson had allowed the defense to introduce the slain teen's toxicology report showing he had smoked marijuana.

"The state would have argued that marijuana doesn't make someone hostile, and the defense probably didn't want to look like they were disparaging Trayvon Martin," Priovolos said.

Their approach was evident at closing arguments. While prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda was mocking and at times shrill, O'Mara was calm and conversational, opening with a long, professorial discussion on the history of trial law, then dissecting the state's case.

Zimmerman's neighborhood watch history? "Tell me one witness who said George Zimmerman patrolled that neighborhood . . . not one," he told jurors.

The sound of the wind on Zimmerman's call to police, suggesting he was chasing Martin? The weather report shows "the wind was up," O'Mara said.

The belief Zimmerman was the aggressor? "One piece of evidence that my client attacked Trayvon Martin?" O'Mara asked jurors. "Landed one blow even?"

Miami defense attorney David O. Markus said that the closings arguments offered something of a role reversal for prosecutors and the defense.

"The initial summation by the prosecution was what you see many times from defense lawyers - passionate and trying to poke holes or raise doubts in Zimmerman's version of events," he said. "On the other hand, the defense accepted the burden of proof and methodically and dispassionately went through the evidence and the elements, much like a prosecutor would normally proceed."

The acquittal vindicated O'Mara's strategy. He not only maintained that the state hadn't proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but riskily admitted he wanted to take on the "burden" of proving his client's "absolute innocence." He even wished, half-playfully, that the verdict form has a check box for "completely innocent."

Under the law, the defense has no burden to prove anything. Only prosecutors must prove a case, beyond a reasonable doubt.

"I really like the strategy," Markus said. "Many times, cases come down to whether you can show the jury that you really believe in your client. What better way to do that than to tell the jury that you aren't relying on burdens of proof but instead that you believe he is innocent?"


And even if he is, what has that got to do with anything?
Do you really believe that if an armed black man had killed and unarmed white boy he would have walked free? Here in Portugal he would have been convicted simply for carrying a gun. In fact, there are cases of Police Officers convicted for killing suspects they were chasing because they shot them before shooting warning shots. A boy is dead. The person who killed him and who was carrying the gun was acquitted. That makes me sick.

I think no one has won in this case. A family has lost a son. I think Trayvon's drug use is irrelevant. I know lots of good people who smoke cannabis and cannabis is more likely to calm the person than make them aggressive. On the day, the jury decided that the State had not proved its case and lead Detective Chris Serino even stated (which was removed from the record, but heard by the jury) that he believed Zimmerman. The lead detective should not have stated anything other than what was said by Zimmerman.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
"You can run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Sooner or later God'll cut you down." (Johnny Cash)

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  Claudia79 on Sun 14 Jul - 14:18

This case actually reminds me of the McCann case and echoes how some people are protected by justice/authorities simply because of their position in life, be that race, money or just status. Had the McCanns been Portuguese and poor, I bet they would have been charged at least with neglect and I take it Social Services in the UK would have dealt with them in a different manner. And that is what pisses me off. It's not the crime that counts. Is who commits it.

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Re: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Post  AnnaEsse on Sun 14 Jul - 14:27

A good article

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/26/opinion/wilkerson-trayvon

Trayvon's killing and Florida's tragic past

Editor's note: Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson is the author of "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration." One of the migrants documented in the book, George Swanson Starling, fled Florida for New York in 1945 after a standoff in the citrus groves, where he sought fairer wages for black pickers from the grove owners for whom they worked. The standoff -- in Sanford, Florida -- set in motion a plan to lynch him.

(CNN) -- Isolated in the moment, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin may seem a singular tragedy: a teenager mistaken for a criminal by an overzealous neighborhood watchman armed with a gun and backed by a state law that gives greater latitude to people to defend themselves when they feel threatened.

But that moment in February in the central Florida town of Sanford was steeped in a history that has haunted the state, the South and the country for generations.

No matter the state, the circumstances are eerily familiar: a slaying. Minimal police investigation. A suspect known to authorities. No arrest. Protests and outrage in a racially charged atmosphere. Florida is known for its amusement parks, beaches and pensioners from the North. But history bears out that Florida has been as much a part of the South and its vigilante-enforced racial caste system as Georgia and Alabama.

In 1920, a white mob burned down the black section of Ocoee, Florida, 30 miles west of Sanford, when two "colored" men tried to vote. The two black men were killed for having gone to the polls.

The black people who survived the massacre fled. The town remained all-white for generations. Three years later, a white mob burned and leveled the town of Rosewood, a black settlement by the Gulf of Mexico, 140 miles west of Sanford, after a white woman said a "colored" man had attacked her. It was where, a survivor said, "anything that was black or looked black was killed."

It was in 1934 that perhaps the single worst act of torture and execution in 20th-century America happened. In the Florida Panhandle town of Marianna, a farm settlement between Pensacola and Tallahassee, a 23-year-old black field hand named Claude Neal was accused of the rape and murder of a 20-year-old white woman. He was arrested and signed a written confession that some historians have since called into question.

A mob of more than 300 men armed with guns, torches and dynamite went searching for Neal in every jail in a 75-mile radius. The manhunt forced authorities to move Neal across the Panhandle -- by car and by boat, with the mob on their trail at every turn -- before they took him out of the state altogether, to the tiny town of Brewton, Alabama.

Someone leaked Neal's whereabouts, and a lynching party stormed the jail and took Neal, his wrists hogtied, back to Marianna. It went over the news wires that he would be lynched the following day.

Thousands gathered to see the lynching, so many people that the lynching party, fearing a riot, decided to take him to the woods. There they castrated him and tortured him for hours with such cruelty that one of the lynchers was reported to have thrown up. Neal's body was dragged through town and hanged from an oak tree on the courthouse lawn, his fingers displayed as souvenirs. No one was ever charged or spent a day in jail for Neal's murder.

In 1951, the first casualties of the modern civil rights movement, Harry T. Moore, and his wife, Harriette, were fatally wounded in Mims, Florida, 30 miles east of Sanford, when a bomb exploded under their bed on Christmas Day. Moore had been the lone representative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Florida, crisscrossing the state to get equal wages for black teachers and the right to vote for blacks, who were denied that right in Florida and the rest of the South.

In more recent times, the first major race riots in the post-civil rights era erupted in Miami over a series of shootings of black men at the hands of white police officers who were all acquitted in the slayings.

In 1979, Arthur McDuffie, a black Marine Corps veteran and insurance salesman, was killed after a high-speed chase. The police said he had died from the crash of his motorcycle. But the coroner discovered multiple blunt-force wounds inconsistent with a crash. A police investigation found that the officers had pulled McDuffie from the bike, handcuffed him and took turns beating him with nightsticks and flashlights until he was motionless. The officers then gouged the road with tire tracks and drove over the motorcycle so that there would appear to have been a crash. The officers were acquitted. The verdict set off rioting in Miami in May 1980 that left 18 people dead and more than 1,000 arrested.

In 1982, Nevell Johnson Jr., a 20-year-old black man, who had worked as a Dade County messenger, was shot dead at a video arcade in Miami by a Cuban-born police officer. The shooting set off three days of rioting in Miami. The officer was acquitted.

And in 1989, a block from the arcade where Johnson was slain, Clement Anthony Lloyd was shot dead on his motorcycle by a Colombian-born police officer after a routine traffic stop. A passenger, also a black male, was killed when the motorcycle crashed. The police officer said he was acting in self-defense. He was acquitted of manslaughter in 1993 in Orlando.

Each case has its complexities, and each reflects an atmosphere that extends far beyond the Florida border. It's a moral challenge not for just one state but for America. Each case has a similar algorithm of caste and controversy in a region where old wounds appear to have yet to heal. But while each of the previous cases seems almost lost to memory now, it is the national outpouring of outrage from people of all backgrounds in response to the Trayvon Martin case that could signal the difference between the last century and this one.

*********

Minimal police investigation

This may account for why the State failed to prove its case.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
"You can run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Sooner or later God'll cut you down." (Johnny Cash)

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