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April 04, 2012

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matt

way back in ancient times DARPA was challenged to develop technology to verify the truth telling of Soviet nuclear negotiators.

This technology included voice pattern analysis, sniffing technology to detect changes in body odor, and optical pattern recognition to scan eyeballs for dilation and other "tells'.

The technology exists for a lot of this stuff, but does not get outside police and other agencies. An awful lot of it is also in the way the technology is operated, as lie detector test technology has shown us.

So unless it's iron clad, it has little legal standing.

clarice feldman

Off the top of my head unless they can find a (federal)civil rights claim in all this, they are stuck in Florida courts.

sbw

The bitch of the legal system for our newspaper in New York is that if someone starts a frivolous law suit against us, we can't collect legal fees if we win. We do have a check on the wall covering incidental expenses. We could collect those. Big whoop. $178.

The legal system needs to put some lawyer skin in the game if this country is going to regain its quality.

GMAX

Two of TM's favorite punching bags, Kevin Drum and Enron's consulting professor. I never tire of watching the drubbing though.

Porchlight

OMG, TM just spelled Calrhes nohJnos out loud. Be careful, boss.

sbw

Slowly I turn. Step by step. Inch by inch.

xbradtc

NBC will claim Zimmermann's suit lacks merit because he's a public figure. Nevermind he's a public figure because NBC reports on him.

cboldt

Absent some charge in state court, some allegation of wrongdoing, I don't see any way for the feds to being an action.

There's no violation to turn into a civil rights violation; there's no crime to inflate into a hate-motivated crime.

The claim against the city would turn on some sort of failure to investigate, and against the state, for a failure to prosecute - I've never heard of a case against a prosecutor or a state for exercise of prosecutorial discretion (not charging) but there are plenty of them for wrongful prosecution, see Nifong for a recent example.

Wrongful death is a civil action, and to remove it from state court to federal court, I think there has to be a right to a state remedy first. But as you point out, the state has statutory immunity from suit for people who use justified self defense. There is no independent civil suit mechanism in the federal courts, between two citizens. When a civil case is tried in a federal courts, the federal court will choose which state law to apply. Here there is no question the state law is that of Florida.

Crump really wants an indictment in Florida. I think his entire payday hinges on that.

GMAX

Anyone got the full approve/disapprove numbers? Cant get to Rasmussen its behind the company firewall. Appreciate the hell out of anyone posting it for me. Thanks a bunch.

Minus 18 at Raz today.

Trails Romney by 3.

Zero looks to me to be one of those guys with a gasoline can and match, both in his control yet he cant resist having a cig...

The self immolation is going to happen, watch. The Narcissist is not going to be able to control his rage.

GMAX

NBC has a problem. Even with a public figure its not acceptable to willfully defame someone. If they ran a tape of someone paraphrasing the tape they could dodge the bullet, but instead of running the unedited tape, they hacked the crap out of it, and changed the meaning. Maliciousness probably gets Zimmerman a nice payday. Could not happen to a nicer bunch.

lyle

Who watches NBC anymore?

cboldt

Clarice: -- Off the top of my head unless they can find a (federal)civil rights claim in all this, they are stuck in Florida courts --

And as far as I know, given a finding that this homicide was justified, the feds have no hook at all. No right of the decedent could have been violated. In principle, Trayvon was in the act of committing a crime. The crime was aggravated assault, as it created a reasonable apprehension of death or serious injury.

If some politician wants to advocate the criminalizing of self defense, let them go for it. But as a policy matter, that would tip the balance toward favoring the aggressor in eventual suits.

cboldt
Man, 78, recounts assault by 6 youths in E. Toledo

While Mr. Watts was down the boys kicked him, over and over, shouting, "[Get] that white [man]. This is for Trayvon ... Trayvon lives, white [man]. Kill that white [man]," according to a police report.

Thanks, Obama. Great job healing the racial divide. LUN

cboldt

The OP is correct on the operation of the immunity statute, but there is more than one path to a finding of immunity. Assume that Zimmerman is arrested and charged. His counsel will move for dismissal of the charges, and the judge will rule on the motion. If the judge finds Zimmerman's use of force was justified, Zimmerman gets immunity and the state pays for his defense.

cboldt

Oh - that same pressure to be judicious in charging applies at the time an arrest decision is being pondered. If the police arrest a suspect without probable cause, the state pays the suspect damages.

It's not that such an arrest is illegal, just that it comes at a risk. But, if there is probable cause, no risk.

If there isn't even probable cause (that Zimmerman committed manslaughter), there is no way the evidence supports an indictment.

Anyway - the general point is that even if Crump gets an arrest and indictment, he's not home free. He needs to get the judge to see, in the evidence, enough to support the charge.

DebinNC

When news that an Oct. search of Trayvon's bookbag yielded 12 pieces of women's jewelry, a watch, and a screwdriver-"burglary tool", Ben Crump claimed the report wasn't true because the parents were never notified. If it was true and the parents weren't told, couldn't the Fulton-Martins sue the Miami-Dade school system, since the Krop HS discipline policy requires notification of parents for all infractions, and suspected theft is a huge one? Beginning on p. 15, misbehavior at Krop is categorized by level and resulting consequences are shown. Ten day suspensions are reserved for very serious offenses, not tardiness or simply being in an unauthorized area as the family claimed.

cboldt

Immunity stops applying either when there is no indictment, or if there is an indictment, when the motion to dismiss is denied. If Zimmerman is tried (even if found innocent by use of justified self defense), then obviously he is not immune from trial. And if he is not immune from criminal trial, he is not immune from civil trial.

Greg Q

I think cboldt is right, and Tom is wrong. Getting Zimmerman arrested is enough to waive #3. I think Tom is reading this part wrong:

"As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant."

That's a list of things the State can not do, not a list of things that cause #1 to be cancelled.

Threadkiller

Hey, remember when two months wasn't enough time for the world's most powerful golfer to study the ramifications of Keystone XL (before gas prices necessarily skyrocketed and he lamely tried to take credit for the part of the extension he has no control over and Canada decided to sell its oil to China as was entirely predictable)?

I do.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-04/treasury-officials-given-one-day-to-review-u-s-solyndra-loan.html

jwest

My complaint against Owen and Primeau is the absolute certainty of their statements at the critical moment – when the news of the voice analysis was first splashed over the newspapers and TV.

There was no qualification from them as to what was probable or most likely, they both stated that Zimmerman was not person screaming – period. It doesn’t matter if they try to walk their assessment back now or at some later date when it’s shown Zimmerman was the screamer, the damage has been done.

Let’s hope there is some basis for legal action against these “experts”.

cboldt

I look at the process as "risk of being tried" and "grant of immunity" are attached, until some point that one or the other is selected. Sort of a "heads or tails."

If not indicted, then the immunity kicks in.

If indicted, but not tried (case dismissed on pre-trial motion), then the immunity kicks in.

If the police arrest without probable cause, and the prosecutor charges and the case is dismissed on that pretrial motion, then immunity attaches AND the suspect is paid for having to defend himself.

The statute encourages a sober analysis of the evidence.

pagar


"The U.S. Treasury Department was given one day to review Solyndra LLC’s $535 million U.S. loan guarantee after learning the Energy Department was ready to announce the award publicly, "

It looks like the public would be better off if the Lottery Commission made these announcements.

Paul Zrimsek

Using a post-release beta version of his software, Owen has identified the background screams with 99% confidence as coming from Howard Dean.

cboldt

-- Let’s hope there is some basis for legal action against these “experts”. --

I'm thinking almost certainly not. They are rendering what is referred to as an expert opinion (which is supposed to be supported by the evidence, but well, hired guns and all that) - and in this case, the opinion isn't to the ultimate outcome, whether or not Zimmerman was not justified in his use of deadly force.

The media organs carry most of the risk of defamation. Owen and Primeau were hired by the press, to lend credence to a press-promulgated fiction.

Neo

Congressional Black Caucus, citing no evidence that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin because Martin was black, sponsors resolution blaming 'Racial Bias' for Trayvon Shooting.

Whereas on February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an African-American youth, was horrifically shot and killed while walking from his local 7-Eleven in Sanford, Florida, because he was viewed as ‘suspicious' by George Zimmerman …

Welcome to "post-racial" America.

JAJH

"Thanks, Obama. Great job healing the racial divide. LUN
Posted by: cboldt | April 04, 2012 at 03:03 PM"

It takes two to Tango. The one who brung ya, should take you home.

cboldt

-- It takes two to Tango. The one who brung ya, should take you home. --

That's cryptic.

Anyway, If Obama wanted to make a point about white on black crime using an example, he should have picked a case that was white on black crime.

Taking a case that is black on white crime, and insinuating whitey was the criminal, well, that sure isn't in the nature of soothing. It's irresponsible at best.

Threadkiller

Holy moly!!

http://michellemalkin.com/2012/04/03/usurper-in-chief-rails-against-unelected-supreme-court-demands-deference-to-congress/

Usurper? Does she know what that word means? Boy oh boy, if Hannity looks up the definition during his sooper vetting process he may never have Birther Malkin on his show again.

Threadkiller

Cboldt, please let my know if my madness is too overwhelming. I, like others, appreciate your posts and am glad to see them again.

I sincerely do not want my off topics to be an issue.

(It is an illness)

cboldt

-- Congressional Black Caucus, citing no evidence that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin because Martin was black, sponsors resolution blaming 'Racial Bias' for Trayvon Shooting. --

The constitutional prohibition is on arrest, but the fact they are elected does not make them immune from civil suit. I wonder how much an official (but RECKLESS and FALSE) finding that Zimmerman is racially biased is worth.

There might be a statutory bar. If not, I say fight fire with fire and propose a resolution calling all the members of the CBC racists - trouble is, that one would be TRUE.

cboldt

Threadkiller, I enjoy your madness. Carry on. I multi-task okay, most of the time, except when I'm distracted, or .... oh, nevermind, I forgot what I had on my mind.

lyle

It takes two to Tango. The one who brung ya, should take you home

WTF?

Janet

Congressional Black Caucus, citing no evidence that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin because Martin was black, sponsors resolution blaming 'Racial Bias' for Trayvon Shooting.

This makes me sick. How dare our Congress bring up some kind of resolution naming an American citizen that hasn't been proven guilty of anything in a court! What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
These mobs make me sick.
Cleaver who sponsored the resolution was one of the damn liars about the March 20th Tea Party.
Our Congress has become a joke. Maybe some last moral Congressman could sponsor a resolution saying Rep. Cleaver is a JACKASS!

jwest

The media organs carry most of the risk of defamation. Owen and Primeau were hired by the press, to lend credence to a press-promulgated fiction.
Posted by: cboldt | April 04, 2012 at 03:42 PM

Granted, the media organs carry the most risk of legal action, but it would seem to me, being even less a lawyer than TM, that if someone holds themselves out as an “expert”, charges for their services and in some instances render their expert opinion in legal cases that have great consequences, that person should be able to be held liable for disastrously poor application of the standards of their profession.

Furthermore, if it could be shown that the reason the “expert” besmirched the good name of a private citizen with the slipshod application of his trade was greed for profit potentially generated from the sale of software alleged to have exciting new analytical powers, it seems a civil judgment would be possible.

cboldt

Man, that 4 page CBC resolution is a real piece of work. Selected fact findings used to support the resolution:

Whereas Zimmerman, a self-appointed, untrained neighbor-hood watch volunteer, admitted to police that he shot Martin in the chest;

Whereas Zimmerman's unfounded assumptions and racial bias led to the use of deadly force ...

Whereas this case sets a horrific precedent of vigilante justice and compromises the integrity of the legal system ...



cboldt

On the liability to the expert, I am thinking of awful opinions that are rendered in court, which is also a very public affair. No risk of defamation, no matter how bad or unsupported the opinion.

The guys are committing scientific fraud - we take this evidence, put it through our meat grinder, and this is what pops out.

Similar with Tracy Martin - who has changed his story from "It's not Trayvon" to "It is Trayvon." He's not liable for defamation either.

Ignatz

--And as far as I know, given a finding that this homicide was justified, the feds have no hook at all.--

What was the hook for Koon and Powell after they were acquitted in state court?

cboldt

Here is another example of the calming quality of the CBC.

Whereas Trayvon Martin’s brutal death and the inconceivable fact that his killer remains free should not be ignored;

Mr. CLEAVER (for himself, Ms. BROWN of Florida, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, and Ms. WILSON of Florida)

Throw Rick Santorum in there too - he called Zimmerman's actions malicious (okay, Santorum has an excuse, because immediately before he rendered his conclusion, he said he didn't have any of the facts)

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Thankfully Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution still provides:

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

If the CBC had its way and we had a Democrat majority in the House, they would try to get this garbage passed as a bill of attainder against George.

living liberally, the best revenge

" that person should be able to be held liable for disastrously poor application of the standards of their profession."

Anyone can be sued, for anything. Winning the case, should be the objective, but it's very hard to prove 'malice'.

iqvoice

"Whereas this case sets a horrific precedent of vigilante justice and compromises the integrity of the legal system ..."

They were talking about the Black Panthers and their $10,000 reward, right?

Wait, what?

Janet

Here is the CBC resolution.

I haven't been keeping up with all these Trayvon threads, but I know Zimmerman hasn't gone to court & been found guilty of anything. It is really low for those Congressmen to do this.

cboldt

-- What was the hook for Koon and Powell after they were acquitted in state court? --

Deprivation of civil rights - but they were TRIED in state court. They did not have immunity. If Zimmerman is found to have been justified, before a trial is conducted, he has immunity. I believe that extends to federal system as well.

I'd have to look at the civil rights crimes in 18 USC, for original causes of action. But murder and manslaughter are [generally] not federal offenses. Didn't take place on federal land, neither party is a federal agent. Absent a crime in the first place (and it would have to be a crime of malice, manslaughter is not a crime of malice), there's no hook for hate crime.

cboldt

I'd add that Koon and Powell were state actors too, and state actors do not get the benefit of immunity under FL self defense statute.

jimmyk

If Zimmerman is found to have been justified, before a trial is conducted, he has immunity.

Are you saying that if he is tried and acquitted, he would no longer have immunity? Because that's what happened with Koon and Powell.

AliceH

Maybe this will be the year that Jacob Turk(R) wins over Cleaver in MO-05 (which includes KC). I know nothing about him, but he's been running against Cleaver every 2 years since 2006. In 2006 and 2008, Cleaver won with ~64%, but in 2010, he won with ~53%.

DebinNC

The 2010 flier Zimmerman distributed (and perhaps wrote) to get the Sanford community to act on behalf of a black homeless man beaten by the son of a Sanford PD honcho would seem to demolish the claim that GZ hates blacks.

cboldt

Koon and Powell ... 18 USC 242 - violating the victim's constitutional rights under color of law.

The feds would have to find, independently, that Zimmerman used deadly force BECAUSE of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of Martin (18 USC 249 - hate crimes). This is mutually exclusive of, and contradictory to finding the use of force is justified, being used BECAUSE Zimmerman was reasonably in fear for his life.

18 USC 245 is not applicable, because Martin wasn't being prevented from a federally protected activity.

cboldt

-- Are you saying that if he is tried and acquitted, he would no longer have immunity? Because that's what happened with Koon and Powell. --

That's exactly what I'm saying. If he's tried, he obviously doesn't have immunity from being tried. If he's tried in the criminal court, he can be sued in civil court.

Koon and Powell, as state actors, don't get immunity from trial for their use of force. This is because they have some of presumption of right to use force, being police and all.

jwest

Anyone can be sued, for anything. Winning the case, should be the objective, but it's very hard to prove 'malice'.
Posted by: living liberally, the best revenge | April 04, 2012 at 04:26 PM

That would be the beauty of this case. It seems it would be fairly easy to convince a jury that the expert disregarded the standards that normally apply when the opportunity to profit from maliciously defaming an innocent private citizen presented itself.

jimmyk

cboldt, unless you're saying it can't be done, I would not put it past Holder and his ilk, urged on by the CBC, to do precisely that. Perhaps the argument could be that even if deadly force was justifiable, there was still discretion involved, and had Trayvon been white (or Hispanic?), Zimmerman would have acted differently? I'm sure they could come up with some rationale, given that this is an administration that believes it can do whatever it wants.

datechguy

Tom

Sorry to try to contact you via a comment but the e-mail link bounced.

I'd like to have you on my radio show for a few segments this Saturday on AM 830 WCRN a 50,000 watt station out of Worcester serving NE to talk about the Martin case

if interested simply e-mail me and I'll reply with the details

Thanks

Pete I DaTechguy

xbradtc

Man, Taranto and DaTechguy never read my blog.

Bastards.

Gus

SKITTLES.

Janet

Hahahahaa, xbradtc!

Ignatz

Thanks for explaining that, cboldt.

cboldt

-- unless you're saying it can't be done, I would not put it past Holder and his ilk, urged on by the CBC, to do precisely that. --

My point is that it would be a legal contradiction. A person can't be found to 1) use justified force because they were in reasonable fear for their life and simultaneously, 2) find the force NOT justified, because it was used out of racial animus.

That said, I agree that Obama and Holder and good chunks of the DOJ, as well as the entire CBS, are irrational and unreasonable. They are mental cases, literally. No telling what an insane person will do.

Frau Steingehirn

"Thanks, Obama. Great job healing the racial divide. "

Another one to file under "Great job, Barry."

xbradtc

cbolt, et al, I suspect in the case of DoJ involvement, it's a matter of "the process is the punishment" rather than any true search for justice.

Ignatz

I just realized in that revolting ad which will not die, Michelle is not asking me if I'm in, she's asking me to join her and tell Barack we're in.
Ick².

Janet

Story at Drudge - "Bill would suspend passport for unpaid taxes..."

Does this mean that Rangel, Geithner, etc. would have to turn in their passports?

Cecil Turner

Does this mean that Rangel, Geithner, etc. would have to turn in their passports?

Any chance we could wait until they were overseas to enforce it?

Frau Steingehirn

lol, Janet. The holding cell better be larger than a double.

pagar

Bet there are a bunch of people who were over at that church funeral for Marvin Andre that would to get the CBC to talk about how horrifically it is that they were shot and some of them killed standing around a church after a funeral service. Anyone heard the CBC take up their cause?

Tom Maguire

I have a whiz-bang UPDATE stealing someone's idea and speculating as to why an arrest is so important. Beyond any emotional significance I *think* an arrest eliminates the legal bar to a civil suit.

Well, I need help on that, legal eagles. I think this was kicked around a few days ago, so we can now estimate the rate of descent for my pennies.

Chubby

callers to Hannity still so wrong on so many points, ie. Z was not taken to the police station that night, Trayvon was a little boy, Zimmerman was a huge giant, etc.

depressing.

Chubby

Zimmerman's father is going to be interviewed on Hannity tonight.

Cecil Turner

Well, I need help on that, legal eagles.

Cboldt covers it well in several posts above. (esp. 3:25) Very interesting how the immunity "kicks in" based on rulings or actions.

DebinNC

Excellent info, cboldt.

Extraneus

I think cbolt said (most recently at 4:46 in this thread but earlier with more detail) that he needed to be indicted and tried in order to lose immunity, not just arrested or have the case thrown out in a pre-trial hearing.

Hope I got that right.

cboldt

-- he needed to be indicted and tried in order to lose immunity, not just arrested or have the case thrown out in a pre-trial hearing. --


You got that right. Hope you don't might if I say it again, a little differently.


If Zimmerman is arrested and indicted, and the case is dismissed on a pre-trial motion that his use of force was justified self-defense, he has immunity.

Said another way, he can be arrested, and still obtain immunity. But if the judge rejects the motion to dismiss, and the case goes to trial, well, he obviously doesn't have immunity from being tried, at that point.

Greg Q

"That's exactly what I'm saying. If he's tried, he obviously doesn't have immunity from being tried. If he's tried in the criminal court, he can be sued in civil court."

Where do you see that in that statute?

(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force [strike law enforcement exceptions, since don't apply here]. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

If a criminal court finds him not guilty, isn't that proof that he "used force as permitted"?

Jane

He can be sued in civil court whether he is tried or not. Different standard of proof - civil court is lower.

He can also be tried if he is found not guilty - remember OJ?

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