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May 23, 2012

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fdcol63

I'm still inclined to put more credibility in the initial responses and reports.

Once people are exposed to confusing and contradictory information, their own beliefs start to become confused and contradictory.

Add this to the real fear for their own safety from the pressures of racial groups like the NBBP and others in the community, and it becomes even worse.

Theo

Obviously, the media had an effect on the witnesses......One even admitted that television had changed her perception......Every trial lawyer knows that "eye witness" testimony is in fact often the least reliable.......

But the real news here is how weak for the prosecution these witnesses are now. Given the changes in their stories (and the lack of definitive support for the prosecution even in the amended versions), beyond a reasonable doubt seems out of reach for the prosecution.

Steve

we are not a country anymore. Too many of the people living in the Zimmerman community are cowards. They would not help when he was getting beatup and now they are waffling on what they observed because of their fear of the mob and being called a racist.

jimmyk

I'd also think any witness who changes his account is going to lose credibility. On balance that damages the prosecution, which has the burden of proof.

fdcol63

Ingrates. Aren't these also the same neighbors who asked Zimmerman to be on the Neighborhood Watch in the first place?

Theo

fdcol63 --

It is not even fear of outright harm that can influence people. The witnesses have to live in the community; it is not so much violence from the NBBP that can motivate them, but scorn from their neighbors.

The mother of the 13 year old boy is a good case in point. She clearly wanted to protect him and prevent him from being the star defense witness. A kid that age could come in for a very rough time at school -- particularly a racially mixed school -- if he became a key witness in a case like this.

fdcol63

Theo, indeed.

Theo

jimmyk --

Exactly right. The new testimony may help justify bringing the case, but the fact that the witnesses are so uncertain is a real problem for proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ignatz

--Obviously, the media had an effect on the witnesses......One even admitted that television had changed her perception.....--

Yes and in a rather odd way. We have had TV reports of Martin being from 5'11" to 6'3" and 140-180 pounds, while Zimmerman has been from 5'8" to 5'10" and 150-250lbs.
Just exactly which description altered her perceptions?

Clarice

Lawyer: Do you think your recollection is better closer to the events than it is weeks later?

Lawyer: How many tv and printed reports of the incident did you view from the time of the first report you gave to the time of the second interview?

Ignatz

--It is not even fear of outright harm that can influence people. The witnesses have to live in the community; it is not so much violence from the NBBP that can motivate them, but scorn from their neighbors.--

And on top of that is the tendency to run memories over and over in ones mind and each time something is misremembered or an extraneous source misinforms the memory that erroneous detail often becomes embedded in the memory and is eventually sworn to as the gospel truth.

rse

OT-am off to a luncheon to hear John Mauldin speak.

For anyone waiting for me to start throwing real zingers, today would be the day. LUN

Will report back on what Mauldin says.

DebinNC

"I know after seeing the TV of what's happening, comparing their sizes, I think Zimmerman was definitely on top because of his size," she said.

Was she thinking GZ was the bigger one because of his burly 2005 mugshot and the yet unseen visage of Grillntats?

jimmyk

Yes, Theo, I posted my comment before seeing yours. I'm assuming the initial statements are admissible in a trial, right? Or do the contradictions come in only upon questioning, as in "Didn't you say at the time that ...?"

cboldt

I think the changes are inconsequential to Lester finding more likely that not that Zimmerman was in reasonable fear of serious injury or death. There is a certain amount of reliable and independent evidence that Zimmerman's account is generally accurate (didn't start it, at physical disadvantage, head bash and/or smothering out, and/or seeing gun and uttering death threat), and absence of evidence that Zimmerman fired if/after Martin backed off. If Lester finds some flavor of those circumstances is enough to cause a reasonable person to fear serious injury, then the case is over before trial.

Not to say there aren't contradictory accounts, just that Sybrina and DeeDee can't carry the same weight as a nearby eyewitness and forensic evidence.

jimmyk

Was she thinking GZ was the bigger one

Are you talking about Cutcher? She was totally getting her info from the media. She referred to TM as a "little boy," which makes sense based on those pictures of TM as a cute 11-year-old.

Carol Herman

Shortly,up ahead, the Edwards jury will come out with their verdict. And, depending on what they decide, lots of Americans will come to realize how prosecutors work their cases.

Me? When I see a media barage, I immediately think "boy, that case must be weak." But then when I respond to a jury summons, I either don't have my number called. Or, if I do, I get dismissed. No seat for me on a jury! (Which is a good thing.) The summons? A waste of a day or two's time. For lots of Americans though? It means lost wages. Lost work opportunities. And, lowers the respect level all around.

Zimmerman's been not guilty since the very beginning! (Why does Obama want a race riot? Here, again, to me, that's the bigger question.) That he didn't get one? The democraps won't stop fishing for one.

Ignatius J Donnelly

"Few of his friends at school understand why he's so upset.

"Not many middle school kids watch the news," he said."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/17/trayvon-martin-killing-yo_n_1355795.html

Theo,
I was of the same opinion as you but it doesn't seem to the case. He had a video on Youtube as well. His Mother has not shyed away from publicity but does seem worried about Austin. His story has always stayed the same. I think he saw everything though.

DebinNC

Not Cutcher, but Witness 12 who initially couldn't tell which of the 2 was on top, but later said...

"I know after seeing the TV of what's happening, comparing their sizes, I think Zimmerman was definitely on top because of his size," she said.

DebinNC

I think the 13 yo initially said the guy on the bottom was wearing a red top. Don't know whether he dropped that later.

NK

I wonder how much prompting the FDLE investigators and de la Rionda had to do to get the witnesses to 'evolve.'

Appalled

The idea that the changes to the stories tended to go in a single direction following the ginning up of a racial crisis atmosphere does not enhance the credibility of the changes. Did these new interviews correspond in any way to the original abc news scoop that GZ, per the surveillance tape, really did not have any injuries?

The lack of injuries (other than the gunshot) to Trayvon Martin, and GZ's head wounds and broken nose are rather plain and tend to support the first impression eyewitness accounts. The idea that T. Martin is both sitting on top of someone and screaming help, help, help fourteen times is absurd, and the grappling around story revision does not account for the broken nose, unless that part of the beat down was delivered before John started seeing the fight.

Paula

I think TM's tox report may prove to be very interesting...

A comment from the Conservative Treehouse

"OK…after doing a little more googling on the old Internet machine…I think I see where this is heading. I ended up at a site called http://www.cannabis.com. The discussion talks about “purple drank” and “watermelon drank”…..utilizing…..ta da…..ARIZONA WATERMELON DRINK.

Add some skittles for a little more sugar and flavor …..and banggggggggg. Me thinks that there was a reason why Crump was insisting that he was found with a can of ICED TEA…..eventually, someone would put together what the Watermelon and skittles were used in.

Enjoy:
http://boards.cannabis.com/cannabis-com-lounge/91450-watermelon-drank.html "

More here...http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2012/05/23/update-26-part-1-trayvon-martin-what-were-the-last-18-months-like-for-him/

matt

The defense is going to have a field day unless those witnesses are very, very well coached. Which is, of course, very illegal and unethical.

Ignatius J Donnelly

I think the 13 yo initially said the guy on the bottom was wearing a red top. Don't know whether he dropped that later.


DebinNC
I believe he said he saw ONE man(red jacket)
laying on the ground screaming for help.
I don't recall if he mention color during the 911 call though.
The Mother said the police put words in the boy's mouth.

Gus

Where in this post is there any credible evidence for SECOND DEGREE MURDER??
There is none.
One thing I have noticed on this subject for the most part.
LIBTARDS see ZIMMERMAN on TOP.

Rick Ballard

Legal query -

It's my understanding that appellate courts do not deal with issues of fact decided by a jury, they deal with questions concerning the correct application of law by the judge hearing the case. Does that change when the judge is the sole finder of fact? Can an appellate court overturn a verdict by a judge on a factual rather than legal basis?

Ignatz

--Legal query -

It's my understanding that appellate courts do not deal with issues of fact decided by a jury, they deal with questions concerning the correct application of law by the judge hearing the case. Does that change when the judge is the sole finder of fact? Can an appellate court overturn a verdict by a judge on a factual rather than legal basis?--

As you know Rick, IANAL, but in the recently concluded appeal of our bench trial the appellate court had to use the trial court's finding of facts as just that.

Clarice

Generally, the appellate courts do not touch the findings of fact, Rick. That applies to both bench and jury trials. There are exceptions--for example, when there is no factual basis whatsoever on the record to support the finding of fact and the appellate court finds clear error. That, however, is rare.

archon41

I saw a videoclip yesterday where a newscaster demanded of Crump what evidence he had to support the notion that Zimmerman was first to lay hands on Martin. As best as I could follow him, he said that issue was not determinative of Zimmerman's guilt, given the "complexities" of the situation. I think they know they can't escape an adverse finding here, hence the convoluted argument that Zimmerman "provoked" Martin's assault, thus forfeiting the right to self defense. Part of the "provocation" appears to be that Zimmerman was armed, curiously implying that Martin assaulted him knowing he was armed. Another aspect of the "provocation" would appear to be "profiling." Curiouser and curiouser. Arresting or detaining someone, under "color of law," is arguably a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. (That, at any rate, is my lay understanding of the matter.) Here, though, Zimmerman was acting as a private citizen. Great emphasis is laid on the fact that he had summoned the local police, on several occasions, to check out "suspicious" Black males. If this is, in and of itself, unlawful "profiling," its odd the police didn't seem to think so. I suppose, ultimately, the theory will be that Zimmerman should have followed the TSA playbook, and requested the police to check out grannies and Irish redheads.

Most interesting that, according to Rasmussen, 40% now believe in Zimmerman's innocence, and only 24% in his guilt, with the media still pimping for Trayvon. Those screams on the tapes, obviously uttered by someone fearing for his life, will blow the lid off this case. They are horrific.

Rob Crawford

I think they know they can't escape an adverse finding here, hence the convoluted argument that Zimmerman "provoked" Martin's assault, thus forfeiting the right to self defense.

Except that Florida law doesn't work that way. AFAICT you can't lose your right to self defense in Florida.

Thomas Collins

I have a question for cboldt or anyone familiar with the Florida rules of procedure with respect to the immunity hearing: If the judge concludes that Z has met his burden for immunity on the 2nd degree murder charge, can the judge still consider sending the case to trial on a manslaughter charge? Or does must the prosecution separately charge manslaughter?

jwest

We’ve heard “John’s” original statement, in his own words, about who was on top, how the punches were being thrown and who was screaming. He made rather definitive, confident statements.

What we don’t know at this point is under what kind of questioning by the FDLE agent he qualified his statement. “Are you an MMA-style fight expert?” “Do you see the face of the person on top while the screams were happening?” “If not, how can you say it was the person on the bottom doing the screaming?”

Dave (in MA)

I can't help wondering whether, if Jughead hadn't come out with this "If I had a son" crap, the libs wouldn't have such an emotional investment in the railroading of the High Yeller Hispanic.

Rob Crawford

TC -- if the judge rules it was self defense, I suspect that immunizes Zimmerman against ANYTHING. IANAL, YMMV, HAND.

MarkO

Of course, these witnesses can be impeached, but the jury weighs the credibility of all of the witnesses and the weight of the evidence. It all comes into the record. So, the jury can believe them and their story of how their memories improved and not believe Zimmerman.

And, because she is a percipient witness, I’m awaiting DeeDee’s refreshed recollection that she heard a man say, “I’m going to kill you."

Rick Ballard

"obviously uttered by someone fearing for his life"

No,no,no - Martin was screaming from the unbearable pain inflicted by Zimmerman as he repeatedly bashed Martin's fists with his face.

Ignatz, Clarice,

Thanks. I was pondering an appeal in the event that Judge Lester finds against the self-defense plea.

Mark Folkestad

Just hearing the term "finding of facts" sends chills up my spine. The only appeal chance I have for my work comp case loss is on grounds of judicial misconduct, since in Minnesota, by statute, one cannot appeal a work comp decision on grounds of errors in finding of facts, only on errors in application of the law. In the job that broke my back, I moved up to a couple hundred racks a day, with bad wheels, that averaged a ton. This was manual labor, with no jack used. In her ruling, the admin law judge stated that she could see no way that simply moving a few deli carts around during a shift could damage a spine. This after the judge supposedly reviewed hearing testimony and submitted documents detailing the nature of my job and the size and condition of the racks. But I don't think fairness and accuracy was a concern. The judge had demanded, stridently, in pre-hearing tele-conferences, that we settle out of court so she wouldn't miss her son's Little League baseball tournament. As the hearing started, she threatened consequences if the hearing wasn't very short and she coudn't get back to Minneapolis in time for the tourney. By way of background, this judge was appointed by Gov. Ventura, and is a Democrat. I'm finding it difficult to locate a lawyer with the balls to take on a judge, although every lawyer I've consulted says that I got royally screwed.

Ignatius J Donnelly

Paula,
I'm guessing Cannabis.com is NSFW.
Watermelon juice, skittles and vodka is a cocktail, right?
Was Tray going to hang out with Don Draper?
Was he going to raid Brandi's likker cabinet?
The drink sounds ishy.

Thomas Collins

That makes sense, Rob Crawford, in light of the fact that the immunity hearing under Chapter 776.032 of the Florida Statutes is on the issue of whether the defendant was justified in the use of force. Thanks for reminding me that this isn't a generalized immunity hearing, but one focused on the defendant's use of force.

I suppose the one exception might be if the judge concludes Z has met his burden on use of force, but hasn't on use of deadly force (Chapter 776.032 of the Florida Statutes, in providing for the immunity hearing, cross references both force and deadly force situation). In that case, I wonder whether the judge could send a manslaughter charge to trial.

Ignatius J Donnelly

Mark of course is talking about JESSE the body Ventura.Mark, The Judge actually said that?

Paula

"Paula,
I'm guessing Cannabis.com is NSFW.
Watermelon juice, skittles and vodka is a cocktail, right?
Was Tray going to hang out with Don Draper?
Was he going to raid Brandi's likker cabinet?
The drink sounds ishy."

The Conservativetreehouse has postings where TM was asking to buy codeine. The watermelon drink he bought that night coupled w/ skittles and codeine make a variation of "purple drank".

Purple Lean (Drank) is an intoxicating beverage also known by the names lean, sizzurp, and liquid codeine. It is commonly abused by southern rappers and wannabe suburban teenagers. It is a mixture of Promethazine/Codeine cough syrup and sprite, with a few jolly ranchers and/or skittles thrown in.

Promethazine with codeine, consumed in such large amounts as is popular with such southern rappers as lil wayne, slim thug, and Big Moe, produces an opiate-like high that is potentiated by the Promethazine.

Promethazine by itself will not produce a high. The beverage must be sipped slowly, and not guzzled, in order to avoid unconsciousness and/or life threatening overdose.

Danube of Thought

I'm assuming the initial statements are admissible in a trial, right? Or do the contradictions come in only upon questioning

Here's the way that works (I feel a little rust here, so feel free to correct me if I go astray): the previous statements, reduced to writing, cannot be placed in evidence, i.e. they do not become exhibits that the jurors can take with them into the jury room. But the defense attorney can read from them on cross, e.g. "didn't you say 'xyz' on March 10 when you were interviewed by Sgt. A?" And he can show the statement to the witness to refresh his recollection as to what he said.

Mark Folkestad

Yes, Ignatius Donnelly, the judge actually said that. My original lawyer said that she was too disturbed by the outcome of my case to work on an appeal, but she warned me that the audio recordings and transcripts of the two tele-conferences and the start of the hearing might have been "sanitized". But with such proof, an appeal should be a slam-dunk.

Yes, that is indeed our former "independent" governor, who ran as an indy, but governed mostly as a hard-core Dem. Because of his wild rantings on his opposition to our involvement in the Middle East, always talking about the tens of thousands of body bags that would be coming back, I used to call him Jesse the body bag Ventura.

Ignatius J Donnelly

Thanks paula,
Better living through chemistry this ain't.
I did go to the tree house to read the drank post. I also noticed Tray liked ultimate fighting.

Stephanie

Fitzgerald has resigned. Per Fox

Clarice

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who oversaw the prosecutions of governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, announced today he is stepping down on June 30. Fitzgerald has been the longest serving U.S. attorney in Chicago history, holding the office for more than 10 ½ years. A release put out by the U.S. attorney’s office said Fitzgerald had notified the White House, Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk of his decision this morning. Fitzgerald has no immediate employment plans and intends to take off this summer before considering his next career move.


Chicago Tribune..

hrtshpdbox

Pat Fitzgerald, after a long and entirely dishonorable career, has stepped down as US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Maybe Pat will spend some time now on his memoir, "My Life As A Creep".

Paula

YW, Ignatius. Definitely not better living. lol

It never made sense that Tray was going to buy skittles for his "brother". If he had, his family would have been alerted earlier that he hadn't come home.

So many lies.

Ignatz

LOL, hrtshpdbox.

dublindave

"So a month later this witness is an authority on how people ought to react to extreme stress."

Apathy is not a normal reaction to murdering someone and most people can determine that without in-depth training.

Whether you're on Zimmerman's side or not, you have to admit that he is one strange cat.I'm not talking about his assaulting a police officer or his girlfriend or even murdering a child going home to his pops house.

It's the little things that truly make him a nutty butty.....the constant phone calls to police,his self-appointment to neighbourhood watch captain,buying a handgun and complaining that criminals are never brought to justice,firing his legal council and setting up a defence fund,his profiling and prejudice toward his own ethniticity,the Hannity interview and lying to the mother of the child he just murdered.


Even standing beside the hog faced Rove and the decomposing body of Andrew breitbart,George Zimmerman's one of the creepiest right-wing heroes is recent years.

Mark Folkestad

Okay, DuDa is safe. We can call off our volunteer activities checking morgues and jails for him. I am SO relieved.

Stephanie

WhoTF is claiming that Z is a right wing hero except the left wing loonies. One doesn't need to be in thrall of the guy to examine the facts as they come in and determine that the guy is not getting fair and balanced reportage or prosecution.

Do you also believe that John Edwards is also a 'right wing hero' as most here also feel that his prosecution is BS. :eyeroll:

Send better trolls.

narciso

I don't know, Steph, I just hear a buzzing sound ,how are you doing btw.

cw

"A young mother who is also a neighbor in the town-home community never gave a recorded interview to Sanford police, according to prosecution records released last week. She first sat down for an audio-recorded interview with an FDLE agent March 20, more than three weeks after the shooting.

During that session, she said she saw two people on the ground immediately after the shooting and was not sure who was on top, Zimmerman or Trayvon.

"I don't know which one. … All I saw when they were on the ground was dark colors," she said.

Six days later, however, she was sure: It was Zimmerman on top, she told trial prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda during a 21/2-minute recorded session.

"I know after seeing the TV of what's happening, comparing their sizes, I think Zimmerman was definitely on top because of his size," she said."

Who even talks like that? Sounds like brain-damaged word salad. And does changing your story AFTER being exposed to the constant bombardment of the false media narrative still mean that anyone should take you seriously?

NK

ThomasC-- in this case Florida law is very clear. the Immunity statute 776.032 cross references the self-defense statute 776.012, so that if the Court finds at the hearing the self-defense force was justified (that includes the level of force up to deadly force) then immunity applies to the events and course of conduct, meaning GZ would be immunized from any criminal charge relating to his use of force. And worse for Crump, GZ would also be immune from civil claims for wrongful death. Question-- Immunity from Fed Civil Rights charges? Erie Doctrine, paging Mr. Erie Doctrine!

archon41

Just before squeezing the trigger, Zimmerman bent down and softly breathed into Trayvon's terrified ear "Shoudda given up the candy, kid."

Stephanie

Awesome, narciso. Just back from a quick trip to Disney (where else :) ). I've been trying to take a step back from the blogs and play a lot of golf and spend time with the family. It's a great remedy for blood pressure.

Hope you are all dried out from the 9 inch rainfall with no adverse effects.

Jack is Back

Do you know if St. Elizabeth's has WiFi? Do they know DuDa has the password?

I still believe Lester takes this to trial. It seems to me that there is absolutely no sense of any urgency here. Time is not of the essense and it is all political. Fear comes to mind, also. The only person in this whole kerfuffle who hasn't acted like a coward of heart or conscience is Zimmerman. He had the knowledge that a young thug was going to try and do him serious bodily harm and then the courage to use deadly force to make sure he couldn't.

Everyone else from the judge, the State, the witnesses, the police, the media, the race industry are cowards simply because of what they fear not what they believe.

/St. E's is a mental institution

Ignatius J Donnelly

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/05/22/amy-senser-new-trial-hearing/


As Mark will attest, we have our own high profile trial here.

She thought she hit a cone, a cone that sprayed blood and did serious damage to her car. She also drove back later to see the "cone" she hit.

Soylent Red

OT, JOM Twitter-ers please stand in solidarity with my future ex-wife SE Cupp vis Huslter's assault on her stand against abortion and Planned Infanticide. For the full story, LUN.

#IStandWithSECupp

NK

OT-- the Obamaniacs know they will lose and why-- lousy jobs and THE DEBT. WS published a quote from the WH spokesman lecturing reporters about the debt not being Obama's fault. Enjoy the link:
http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/wh-press-dont-buy-republican-debt-bs/558871

hit and run

Fitzgerald has no immediate employment plans and intends to take off this summer before considering his next career move

He wants to spend more time with his cat.

Theo

JiB --

I think you may be right. The judge lets someone else (the jury) make the tough call. The facts indicate that immunity is justified, but why should he stick his neck out? There is little chance of conviction anyway, I think he will reason.......

NK

JiB-- hold on-- why do you think Judge Lester denies immunity? have lawyers down there written about his prior decisions? is it a gut feeling?

Lea

Apathy is not a normal reaction to "murdering" someone

But shock is.

They don't let witnesses actually testify to a person's state of mind who is not themeselves, right? IANAL, but that seems like an objection waiting to happen.

GMAX

purple drank is not a suburban fad, its a hood fad. Its codeine. There is also yellow drank. Same stuff. And I got my info from a black guy who is radio station engineer. YMMV

scott

There is a reason for canvassing the area around the crime scene immediately after an incident, and these reports bear that out.

Several things to keep in mind when comparing conflicts in statements from same source:

Specificity - "MMA" type punches is a specific description - "I'm not sure" isn't.

Knowledge of existence of other witnesses - not only does the content of the accounts of other witnesses affect memory, the knowledge that others actually exist affects testimony. If witness believes someone else might contradict what he'll say, he will be less confident in his observations.

Which is why I like Zimmerman's account - he gave it with a strong belief that others could refute it if he was lying. If Martin was the one yelling for help, certainly witnesses would report that. If he (Zimmerman) had started the fight, he would reasonably assume witnesses saw it and try to mitigate it with some non-observable factor.

2 cents.

Jack is Back

NK,

Just a gut feeling about the politics being what is out front in this case. Its almost as if the damn thing is radio-active and no one wants to go near it. I think the reason we have the information we have now is because it is statutory. If it wasn't and if they could it seems all parties would like to pretend it goes away. Maybe not Crump but then I wouldn't put it past the State to find a way to buy him off.

I may be paranoid here but it just doesn't have the same edge as say the Casey Anthony murder trial had recently. Egg shells and library silence.

Some guy

WhoTF is claiming that Z is a right wing hero except the left wing loonies.

The Left is always in combat mode, and anyone or anything that doesn't see things their way are therefore the enemy. For all their claims to ‘nuanced’ thinking, it’s all black and white to them. The gray areas, like that a black Hispanic democrat shot a black teenager causes circuits to misfire and I imagine smoke coming out of their ears trying to understand it all.

So to them, anyone who is not on the JusticeForTrayvon® team, must therefore be on the Zimmerman is hero team, even though that isn’t the reality. The one thing the "Reality Based Community" doesn’t handle well is… well, reality.

Jack is Back

Igantius J. Donnelly,

We have a similar case inolving the wife of a local politico (school board member) who hits a lady walking her dog at 6pm, goes home, finally tells hubby who, at 5:30am, calls his friend the Sheriff (not the Sheriff's Office).

So, Rick Scott, re-assigns the case to Norman Wolfinger in Seminole-Brevard circuit court (since he is short one now anyways). Will be tried in Brevard County.

Kevin Bacon is involved in those 3 cases:)

fdcol63
"Apathy is not a normal reaction to "murdering" someone"

This whole line of reasoning is absurd. Zimmerman has a very soft, almost timid, way of speaking, as evidenced by his call to police and from his bond hearing testimony.

The fact that he calmly told someone to tell his wife that he'd just shot someone, and that he wasn't hysterical about it at the time, means diddly squat.

Jane

I'm still inclined to put more credibility in the initial responses and reports.

My first job out of college was as a claims adjuster. I investigated all sorts of liability claims, auto accidents etc, made a liability determination and then settled (or denied) the claim.

One day I was in NY city with 2 friends, both who had the same training as I did, and who were both still in that industry - The point being we had all had pretty extensive training figuring out how accidents happened.

So we were walking down the street and a car accident happened right in front of us. It was a regular car and a cab. It was a big accident with injuries etc.

While we were waiting for the police we began talking about what we saw. All three of us saw something entirely different from the other two. WE could not agree on who did what or who was at fault - despite the fact that we were not 20 feet away from the accident and all saw it happen.

Eye witnesses tend to have no credibility, IMO.

GMAX

Here is what Wiki has to say, note its common knowledge that you mix candy in.

Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern United States, originating in Houston, Texas. Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine.[1] Cough syrup is typically mixed with ingredients such as Sprite soft drink or Mountain Dew and pieces of Jolly Rancher candy. The purplish hue of purple drank comes from dyes in the cough syrup.

Ignatius J Donnelly

Ick! I'm from the OLD STYLE generation.
I'd say Grain Belt but is back and more popular than ever.

NK

Jack is Back | May 23, 2012 at 01:52 PM

Interesting. If you're gut feeling is right then Judge Lester has an easy way to make that happen, deny immunity on the ground that GZ didn't prove justified deadly force, and a jury must decide. That also pushes a trial to after elections and probably well into 2013. Careful JiB-- I became a notorious heretic on this issue in April for being of the opinion that the case could play out along those lines, ending in GZ pleading down to something like assault and the State buys off the family and Crump.

Charlie (Colorado)

That is an odd way to suffocate someone - why not choke them out?

Because he's screaming?

cboldt

-- Immunity from Fed Civil Rights charges? Erie Doctrine, paging Mr. Erie Doctrine! --

I don't believe Erie applies to a hate crime prosecution, as that stands on its own federal criminal statute. There is no need to look to state law for any of the elements of an 18 USC hate crime violation.

That said, I believe there is an irreconcilable conflict between a legal finding of justified use of force, and a finding of non-justified use of force, notwithstanding that the feds would have to prove not only was the force not justified, but that the force was deployed wrongfully and because of racial animus.

In case Thomas Collins' question wasn't answered with sufficient clarity, if Lester finds that Zimmerman's use of deadly force was justified, then the state has no charge. Not murder, not manslaughter, not battery, not even assault. The showing and use of deadly force, causing death, is legally justified - it is not a legal wrong in any sense of the word.

Ignatius J Donnelly

Eye witnesses tend to have no credibility, IMO


Jane, Have you ever seen RASHOMON?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashomon_effect

NK

cboldt-- I was joking - a little bit- about Erie. The Federal Civili Rights prosecutions survived double jeopardy challenges in Fed courts when brought after State charges were dismissed (or not brought at all.)But in all seriousness, the Florida Immunity Statute may put a new spin on this. Immunity in Florida is complete, as you say, for all criminal and civil liability coming out of the self-defense events. Does that raise a State law sovereignty question that's never been addressed in the Federal Civil Rights prosecution law?

Charlie (Colorado)

Fitzgerald has resigned. Per Fox

Here is my thelry (which is mine):

Holder resigns in the late summer and Fitzgerald is nominated.

Charlie (Colorado)

Whatever the hell a thelry is.

Janet

Wow, Soylent @ 1:39. These are some times that we are living in. :(

NK

Eye Witnesses?-- I'm less dubious about eye witnesses than the comments above-- unless they are rebutted by forensic evidence. But plaintiffs lawyers and crim defense lawyers do go on about the unreliability of 'eye witnesses'. Of course, it's in their self-interets to do so.

Porchlight

Gmax, there is an entire Houston-based subgenre of hip hop associated with this stuff. Look up DJ Screw. The music is supposed to sound like what being on the drug feels like.

Tom Maguire

Geez, I am now responding to morons.

Here is Wikipeda (the site libs love!) on reactins to stress:

Symptoms of acute stress reaction

The symptoms show great variation but typically include an initial state of "daze", with some constriction of the field of consciousness and narrowing of attention, inability to comprehend stimuli, and disorientation.

This state may be quickly followed by either further withdrawal from the surrounding situation (to the extent of a dissociative stupor), or by agitation and overactivity, anxiety, impaired judgement, confusion, detachment, and depression.

Personally, I babble when I am nervous. But some people just clam up.

DuDa presumably just drones inanely.

Because he's screaming?

I remain confident I would have thought of that...

cboldt

-- I still believe Lester takes this to trial. --

In order to do so, he has to find that it was more likely than not, or that there is no difference in probability, between the use of deadly force being justified, and not.

He has to find Zimmerman is lying, outright, about the 1-5 seconds before the shot went off (and there is no evidence that I know of that permits this); or that the predicament Zimmerman was in (overcome with superior force for a minute; head bashing; unable to escape; maybe an uttered death threat; maybe being smothered out; maybe being the target of an uttered death threat on sight of the pistol) is not enough to put a reasonable person in fear of serious injury.

I don't see how, given the evidence in hand, he can easily take either of those routs to justify sending the case to a jury. And it won't just be a question of fact, it ends up being a mixed issue of fact and law. See, for example, cases where a judge refuses to give a defendant a self defense instruction. That decision is necessarily based, in part, on the facts. Similar here, if Lester refuses the immunity grant (or if he gives it), the decision can be appealed. The appellate court will look at the competing evidence in the record (DeeDee vs. John, more or less) and could say that DeeDee's account cannot be found to carry more weight than John's + physical evidence. Plus, DeeDee's account stops about a minute before Zimmerman's decision to fire.

xbradtc

CBoldt, that was my understanding of an immunity finding. But I also understand that the defense gets "two bites at the apple" in that they can also move for the dismissal of the 2nd degree murder charge, independent of the immunity claim, for a lack of basis.

It's further my understanding that the state would be able in that instance to refile a lesser charge such as manslaughter, ADW, what have you.

Theo

It is not just a gut feeling, but innate skepticism that leads me to think that Lester will punt on immunity (if the issue is brought before him). Behind Door #1, he, his kids and his friends become the target for NBBP, Sharpton outrages, Spike Lee tweeting his address and MSM scorn. Behind Door #2 is a decision that will not be criticized, will not send anyone to jail, will allow the jury to hear all the evidence and will let justice take its course.

I do not know Lester. Maybe he has a huge brass pair and does not care what the "community" thinks.

But honestly, people, if you were in his place, which Door would YOU pick?

Clarice

If that's true, Chaco, I'll have to go underground or overseas os somethig. Maybe Mark Steyn will go with me.

Rob Crawford

That said, I believe there is an irreconcilable conflict between a legal finding of justified use of force, and a finding of non-justified use of force, notwithstanding that the feds would have to prove not only was the force not justified, but that the force was deployed wrongfully and because of racial animus.

Wouldn't the feds also have to show some cause for the federal government to interest itself in the case? Zimmerman was not acting under color of law; it's not a civil rights issue.

Jack is Back

NK,

I think GZ was completely justified in his actions and that should receive Immunity. But I don't have the feeling that the Judge, the media, the political community and others with a stake have the same perspective. We'll wait and see!

LIke some one above said about the witnesses, "they still have to live there". Well Lester still has to live there, in Seminole County.

Plus he is an elected justice not appointed. No tenure.

cboldt

-- The Federal Civili Rights prosecutions survived double jeopardy challenges in Fed courts when brought after State charges were dismissed (or not brought at all.) --

Yes, and that because the federal violation stands on its own feet, needing no reference to state law to find a violation.

My point was that there is no way to reconcile the ultimate outcome of death being justified, totally justified; and being a crime. That is different from the cases where the defendant was tried by the state but the state didn't meet its burden. In that situation, the possibility of a wrong in either civil court or under federal law is unmolested. That's because the federal law stands separate from the state infraction; and the civil claim 1) is only for money, not criminality and 2) has a substantially lower burden of proof.

cboldt

-- But I also understand that the defense gets "two bites at the apple" in that they can also move for the dismissal of the 2nd degree murder charge, independent of the immunity claim, for a lack of basis. --

That's true. But immunity trumps either underlying criminal charge. So, the two bites are very different size. The immunity bite is pretty much the whole apple.

Rob Crawford

But honestly, people, if you were in his place, which Door would YOU pick?

#1 -- and make it clear I *WILL* put down anyone who attempts to do harm to me or mine.

Jane

Jane, Have you ever seen RASHOMON?

Never even heard of it until your link.

cboldt

The reason a "dismissal for failure to show the elements of a crime" isn't all powerful, is that Corey is free to change the charge, and may do so easily as there is no obligation to avail herself of a grand jury.

While "Dismissed because it isn't murder 2" looks like a complete tossing out of the case, it isn't. Corey can remedy the defect herself. She can't do that if the charge is dismissed on a finding of immunity.

cboldt

-- Wouldn't the feds also have to show some cause for the federal government to interest itself in the case? Zimmerman was not acting under color of law; it's not a civil rights issue. --

It's civil rights if his action is "hate" based on race and a few other possible factors. "Color of law" is an element of some civil rights violations, but it is not an element of a hate crime violation.

18 USC 249 - Hate crime acts.

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