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April 12, 2012

Comments

Bruce
I noticed some discussion of whether Martin's girlfriend can be deposed by the defense. I'm not sure whether she can be or not. There are three categories of witnesses in Florida criminal procedure:
Note that category C
All witnesses who performed only ministerial functions or whom the prosecutor does not intend to call at trial and whose involvement with and knowledge of the case is fully set out in a police report or other statement furnished to the defense.
Is essentially those performing ministerial functions, those who aren't going to testify, or those whose testimony is not really key. GF doesn't appear to fall into any of those categories, even close, unless she isn't going to testify, and that is iffy.

Her testimony appears to be what Martin was doing and saying right before his death. At a minimum, I think that makes her an eye witness, or, maybe an ear witness, but same thing, since the thing that makes someone an eye witness is direct sensory impression. And, even if not an eye/ear witness, and even if she isn't going to testify, there is the possibility that she might be an alibi witness or a witness who might provide exonerating information to the defense.

I don't think that at this point, the GF can avoid being deposed. Maybe before she came forward so late with her story. But, she was quite possibly the last person, besides Zimmerman, to talk to Martin alive, that was supposedly in the midst of this entire interaction between Martin and Zimmerman, and I think that puts her fairly high in the "can always be deposed" category, even if she weren't going to testify.

tommy mc donnell

i thought the dispatcher asked martin if he was following the person and zimmerman said he was. then dispatcher then said he didn't have to do that, he didn't order him not to follow martin. i don't know about sanford but in most places dispatchers are civilan employees and don't have the authority to order anybody to do anything.

MJW

Bruce, I think there's no doubt the gf is either a category A or B witness, but she's not literally an "eye witness" since she didn't see anything. So the question is broadly would the term "eye witness" be interpreted (and does the use of the word "includes" expand the definition to similar witnesses).

MJW

...how broadly...

cboldt

Rick Ballard: -- How far, IYO, should the clock run backwards from the shot which marked Martin's sudden and unexpected departure from this vale of tears in order to solidify self-defense? --


To the 10 or 15 seconds before the punch that landed Zimmerman on his back. Had Martin evaded Zimmerman? Did Martin announce himself to Zimmerman? Which of the two (or did both) moved to close distance to enable physical contact with hands? What words were exchanged?


Not that all of those elements are necessarily involved in a claim of self defense, as (theoretically) Zimmerman can have started a fist fight, and still be put in fear of his life if Martin is disarming him. But, if Zimmerman's account is true, he cements it by going back that far. Anything before Martin's successful evasion of Zimmerman is immaterial to the self defense claim.

Danube of Thought

Tried to post something like this earlier, but I guess it dropped (iPad from Passau, Germany)

A few words about hearsay: it is an out-of-court assertion, offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. If it's not an assertion, it's not hearsay. Dee-dee can testify that she heard Trayvon say "Why is this guy following me?"
She can't testify that he said "This guy is following me."

Danube of Thought

I would like bubu to critique Professor Dershowitz's assessment of the affidavit. Oh please, please...

cboldt

-- And am I misremembering, or did Zimmerman say on the 911 call: "he's walking right toward me now" or something to that effect? --


Not sure if you got your answer yet - I am catching up, read 100 more posts and didn't see an answer so ...


On Zimmerman's call with police dispatch, while he is in his vehicle, he says he observes a suspicious person, that the suspicious person is aware of being observed, that the suspicious person stares at Zimmerman, that the suspicious person comes closer and puts hands in waistband, and stares some more. Then the suspicious person runs.


"Coming closer" and "staring" are inconsistent with being afraid and with acting so as to minimize the possibility of physical contact.

Danube of Thought

And while you're at it, bubu, please give us your thoughts as to Professor Dershowitz's motives for making such a vicious, unprincipled attack on the affidavit.

cboldt

-- She can't testify that he said "This guy is following me." --


No, she can testify that this is what she heard, but she cannot testify for the truth of what she heard.


That's what she heard, but it does not establish evidence of following. Same if she testifies that Martin said he was endeavoring to increase distance. That might be what Martin said (or not, depends on if you find DeeDee to be credible) - but further weakening the value of the testimony, Martin could be lying too. Say one thing on the phone to establish alibi, while doing something different.

cboldt

I don't feel bad about lumping Corey in with the mob. The sworn affidavit is the mob's version, contradictory in places with reliable evidence (eyewitness testimony, recorded calls between Z and police); and grossly misleading by omission or reliable evidence.

DrJ

bubu, please give us your thoughts as to Professor Dershowitz's motives...

Ah! The once-thought-mythical identity conservative has been found!

cboldt

-- I believe none of GZ's statements made it into the affidavit because they are all hearsay. --


None of his statements made it in, because they establish that his actions were justified. He is not a hearsay witness - he is the best witness. His "problem" is one of credibility, rather than being a problem of being unable to directly observe what he is testifying to.


Mark M.

First, the Police Report says that Trayvon is 195lbs, not 150.

2nd, How can the Special Prosecutor sidestep the 5th Amendment, which specifies that indictment for all "Capital or otherwise infamous" crimes be rendered by a grand jury? (A key protection in that it forces the Prosecutor to pass the smell test.)

In United States v. Moreland, 258 U.S. 433 (1922), the Supreme Court held that incarceration in a prison or penitentiary attaches infamy to a crime. i.e., the claim that it's not a capital crime does not end the discussion, because 2nd degree Murder is an infamous crime because he would be sentenced to a penitentiary.

Even FL own Crim Proc. Section 3.140 says that 'indictment by information' shouldn't be used by non-elected prosecutors. (Actually "strongly recommended against" in non-elected jurisdictions, but the notes make clear that the justification for this is that an elected prosecutor is answerable to the people.) She was not elected precisely because this is a powderkeg.

Danube of Thought

"No, she can testify that this is what she heard, but she cannot testify for the truth of what she heard."

That means that in this instance the testimony cannot be allowed, since it is not being offered for any reason other than the truth of the assertion (Otherwise the hearsay rule wouldn't bar anything at all.)

cboldt

-- That means that in this instance the testimony cannot be allowed, since it is not being offered for any reason other than the truth of the assertion --


Which makes the extent of admissible testimony by DeeDee pretty thin.


Thinking a bit about Zimmerman v. the state, Zimmerman has eyewitnesses, recored calls, photos of injuries, etc., and this is going up against DeeDee's report.


Well, it was a slam dunk before Corey decided to pull the trigger on Zimmerman - so I guess a Florida judge could be similarly addled.

Jim Ryan

The libs here in Charlottesville are having a Thank the Taxes rally on April 15th, to counter the tea party's rally. They will list all the wonderful things government provides for us with tax revenue and they will cheer for taxes.

cboldt

-- Even FL own Crim Proc. Section 3.140 says that 'indictment by information' shouldn't be used by non-elected prosecutors. ... She was not elected precisely because this is a powderkeg. --


Great observation. Would have been better if known last week, since there is no way to unring the bell. Corey treated this like any "usual" case. She doesn't take self defense cases to a grand jury, says she. She decides whether the evidence supports trial, herself.


Even more of a systemic failure if Corey can walk away from the prosecution subsequent to charging. It changes her incentives.

cboldt

Corey's formal declaration that Zimmerman committed 2nd degree murder, coupled with the sworn affidavit, sure complicates any defamation case down the road.

Danube of Thought

She was elected State Attorney, but of course not to the Special Prosecutor's office.

The affidavit is sho through with hearsay, but that's OK because it's not offered as evidence. When evidence-offering time rolls around, problems will arise.

SDN

Everyone here is forgetting one important point: now that Zimmerman has been charged / arrested, under FL's SYG law he can be sued in civil court.
So what will happen is that:

1. the state gets a criminal trial to placate the Professional Race Pimps and stave off riots in the summer which would kill the tourist trade,

2.Holder and the DOJ get to use all the evidence they gather for a double jeopardy Federal trial, and

3. Crump gets to take that same evidence gathered by the state (which can get it for a criminal trial in ways Crump can't in a civil one) for a triple jeopardy civil suit, under a lower standard of evidence, and with all the weaknesses he needs to "come up with" evidence or explanations for demonstrated.

Win-Win-Win... except for the schmuck who actually believed that the legal system means a damn.

RattlerGator

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet, and others, Dershowitz is wrong because he's ignorant of Florida. Like so many who have opined for post after post after post about a grand jury. Why wasn't a grand jury used? I'm shocked this didn't go to grand jury.

Good grief.

We have perhaps the most liberal open discovery process in the nation. IN. THE. NATION. You don't think that's going to affect what necessarily *has* to go into the charging documents ???

Damn!!!

Some folks, like Dershowitz, just need to admit their ignorance and shut the hell up. OF COURSE THE CHARGING DOCUMENT IS WEAK, but you had a national mob insisting an injustice had been committed + the DOJ on board with the mob.

What, pray tell, would have happened had she not filed charges and the Tampa Bay Times then did a review of these cases and stated, factually, that 6 of 9 apparently similar cases *DID* have charges filed? No one would give a damn that the majority did not result in convictions.

No one.

Wake the hell up, people. A gaggle of straight thinking people on this board are howling when all of you just need to cool the hell out.

Thomas Collins

Well, RG, you certainly woke me up. But chill out yourself. Your 6:57 AM post is not inconsistent with the notion that the decision to charge was based primarily on political considerations. That's what a lot of us have been steaming about. If, on the other hand, your point is this is how the game should have been reasonably expected to work in this case, I appreciate your point.

Alan

Just a grammatical point. "A struggle ensued" is not the passive voice. I grant that it obscures agency.

cboldt

Zimmerman could have been sued a month ago, if Crump wanted to.


The deterrent to him suing now is that if a judge finds Zimmerman has immunity, then Crump has to pay Zimmerman. 776.032(3)

(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).

rse

Jim-you can interview the people at the Thanks for Taxes rally and report back on the various categories of the renter class represented.

"I live off the public payroll and I appreciate those taxes" makes one a parasite whether they realize it or not.

Is there any scenario where this helps bo win florida?

Melinda-the reality of education has comparable transformative abilities to shift that political mindset.

Patriot4Freedom

cboldt -

Thanks for all of the enlightening posts on the various issues involved.

You've done a great service to everyone reading the updates here !

bunkerbuster

Dershowitz: ``Everything in this affidavit is consistent with the defendant's account.''
Fact: But as Dersh himself says: "The mother identifies the voice screaming for help as that of her son.''
Obviously, the mother's testimony is not consistent with Zimmerman's attempt at self-exoneration. And when you add that independent experts say the voice isn't Zimmerman, Dersh's claim that Zimmerman's story isn't challenged is without foundation.
And for a silver-tongued devil, Dersh sure botches one point.
Dersh I: ``There's nothing in the affidavit about the grass stains on his shirt or the blood on the back of his head, the bloody nose or all of that.''
Dersh II (mere seconds later): ``...that the grass stains are on the back of Zimmerman's shirt and the bruises are on his head.''
So why would Dersh so quickly doctor his previous statement down to "bruise" from "blood?"
Easy. He's seen the same photos and videos everyone has of the pristine back of Zimmerman's conveniently shaved head. He's also seen the doctored video that purports to show injuries, but he's also read the press accounts and seen them move from "gashes" that needed stitches to "contusions" to "welts." He's discounting his own testimony because he knows it's probably not true.
Aside from all the evidence as yet undivulged, Zim's alleged head injury is paramount.
If it turns out that Dersh's instinct is true and all that Zim had on his head was a bruise, and there's no physical evidence from the sidewalk itself (or certainly if the police didn't even bother to look) it seems much less likely that any reasonable jury is going to believe that Martin was thrashing his head on the sidewalk.
I like listening to Dershowitz for sure. He's a very sharp guy and appreciate that he nailed LAPD cold for planting evidence in the OJ case. (I wonder how many newly converted civil libertarians among the no-limit-shysta and white-power whine club here were content to see OJ walk because the cops were so mendacious.)
And it's worth reading this too into Dersh's comments on the Martin murder:
``There are many levels of truth. Whatever you believe the truth is about whether O.J. Simpson killed these people, that's one level of truth. Another level of truth is, did the police plant evidence? Another level of truth is, did the police lie in order to conduct a search? Another level of truth is, did Fuhrman make statements about race that the jury never heard about? There are different levels of truth. There's ultimate truth; there's intermediate truth; there's preliminary truth. Everybody likes one part of the truth and not the other. If you're a prosecutor, and you believe the defendant is guilty, you only talk about ultimate truth, but not intermediate truth. If you're the defense attorney, you care deeply about intermediate truth, but you tend to neglect ultimate truth. So everybody likes certain truths and dislikes other truths, depending on whether it serves their interests.''

bobby b

1. Pity the Martins re: trademarking their son's name. They've been trying to get good legal help with no money. I'm sure their lawyer said "here's how you can pay me."

2. Prosecutor overcharged, turned in an insufficient affidavit. But that affidavit is her strongest case, and it doesn't support ANY charge, not even a Disorderly Conduct. My guess: just like the usual prosecutors for that area, she's handing the controversy upstairs to the judge. ("He gets the big bucks. Let him set Zimmerman free.")

She probably would rather not get gunned down in the next year, which I would rate as a high probability if she had decided to set Z free with no charge. At least the judge gets some decent day-to-day security in the courthouse.

Joseph F Foster

The original poster wrote:

"I especially like the passive voice at the critical plot point: "...a struggle ensued". "

'A struggle ensued.' is not passive voice . 'ensue' is an intransitive verb and doesn't have a passive voice. 'Mistakes were made.' or 'Letters were written.' are examples of transitive verbs in the passive voice.

Paul

Wait... I see 7-11 and Fast-Foods have 'NO HOODIE' signs!!!! They are PROFILING!! Right?

So what is the problem with profiling? Does not the FBI have 'profilers'?

The whole arrest of Zimmerman is a political stunt. Zimmerman is now a politial prisioner of the Obama regime.

hanmeng

That's not the passive voice. See "Passive voice wrongly accused yet again":
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3897

BM

bunker buster, it was raining so if nothing is found then it doesn't mean anything. The gashes on the back of his head are sufficient evidence because Martin wasn't armed with anything but a sidewalk to cause the damage.

BM

That witness who saw Z up and M down was well after the gunshot. So is consistent with Z's story. All the evidence is consistent with Z's story so far except the exact woods exchanged on initial contact. Even then the order of the exchange M first then Z is consistent with Z's story, and there is nothing in Dee Dee's testimony that has Z doing anything wrong.

Nobody has the right to sucker punch someone and beat their head into the sidewalk, and continue to do so, just because they didn't like being followed. What if Zimmerman was returning his car keys that he dropped and Martin was in a private area he didn't know about? so the first response to the question "why you following me" happens to be "what are you doing here" to be followed by "here's your car keys, you dropped them".

Melinda Romanoff

rse-

I know what they intend, look what it's left in Russia.

Melinda Romanoff

so to speak, heh.

Brian

Despite the flourish of bravado with which you condemn it, "a struggle ensued" is not passive. If you don't know what the passive voice is, you should stop waving it around and pretending it's the sharpest weapon you have. This is my first and last visit to your blog. Not impressed.

Ignatz

A struggle ensued is not in the 'passive voice'.
The 20th person noting this grammatical tidbit is in the 'redundant and nobody gives a shit anymore voice'.

Rob Crawford

What, pray tell, would have happened had she not filed charges and the Tampa Bay Times then did a review of these cases and stated, factually, that 6 of 9 apparently similar cases *DID* have charges filed?

Except the Tampa Bay Times did a review of similar cases and found that most of them don't end with charges.

And we all know that if she had followed the law and not charged, there would have been riots. So what? There will be riots if Zimmerman's acquitted. There will be riots if the case is thrown out. There will be riots if he's convicted. There will be riots if he's murdered in prison.

I'd hope the execution of the law doesn't bend to the howling mob -- but since now we've learned it will, and that's perfectly fine by the account of the "civil rights" crowd, well, maybe the majority of the population should start playing by the same rules.

Edward Cropper

I just came across this blog.
Those commenting on this case are the most sane, rational, and respectful commenters I have found on the net.
What a breath of fresh air.
Congrats folks.

Rob Crawford

Good lord, the English majors sure are pissed!

I guess they finally stumbled across something they can comment on and act all knowledgeable and stuff. Savor it, kids -- it won't happen again for a long while!

Fen

The affidavit claims that Zimmerman "profiled" Martin but does not describe the profiling

Zimmerman: "I think he's black". [emph added]

How do you racially profile someone if you are not certain what their race is?

Melinda Romanoff

Mr. Cropper-

Stick around. It gets better.

cboldt

From the affidavit, "Zimmerman spoke to the dispatcher and asked for an officer to respond because Zimmerman perceived that Martin was acting suspicious. The police dispatcher informed Zimmerman that an officer was on the way and to wait for the officer."

Looking at a transcript of that call, I conclude that the affidavit is misleading in a material way, essentially it is false. While it is true that dispatch advised Zimmerman that an officer was on the way, the word "wait" does not appear at all, and in fact, dispatch leaves it up to Zimmerman if he (Zimmerman) wants to meet with an officer at all. "Alright George we do have them on the way. Do you want to meet with the officer when they get out there?"

I'd disagree with the implication made by Corey that thinking Martin was committing a crime cuts against Zimmerman. If you think a crime is being committed, that becomes your justification for action. She can't have both, "he has a hard heart against an innocent person" and "he thinks the person was committing a crime." Corey uses the word "assumed" to express how Zimmerman obtained his suspicion, but even so, if he assumes that, then his subsequent actions aren't against a person he believes is innocent.

Danube of Thought

"So why would Dersh so quickly doctor his previous statement down to 'bruise' from 'blood?'"

Are they mutually exclusive?

What the voice "experts" have said is contradictory, and is not admissible. Mwrtin's father initially said the voice was not his son's; the witness who said Martin was on top of Z also said the guy on the bottom was screaming.

But we still need to know: why has Dershowitz joined the loony wingnuts?

Ignatz

--The little known etymology of ensue is from the Latin, "crumpus ensueus" which roughly translates to 'chaser of panel vans with flashing lights'.

Posted by: Some guy | April 13, 2012 at 12:41 AM--

That's a comment for the ages.
Hope you hang around Some Guy.

Rick Ballard

"I think he's black"

Fen,

You've raised an interesting separate point. Zimmerman may have been in his vehicle when he uttered those words and then exited the vehicle to get close enough to verify his supposition. He was certainly out of his vehicle when the dispatcher advised him that following was not necessary. You can hear him huffing along and then his voice returns to normal.

Did the dispatcher's question provide the impetus for Zimmerman to follow Martin?

Extraneus

Who knew there were so many passive-voice pedants out there?

(Disclaimer: I normally like pedants, but this bunch seems to belong to an annoying sect that has split away from your normal everyday pedant population.)

cboldt
During the recorded call Zimmerman made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with break-ins in the neighborhood

"Felt?" There had in fact been numerous break-ins, and they are in fact, to this day, unsolved. He was making an unremarkable statement of fact, exaggerated to they all get away, but otherwise uncontroversial - or should be uncontroversial to a prosecutor who is supposedly against break-ins.

The affidavit goes on ...

Later while talking about Martin, Zimmerman stated "these assholes, they always get away" and also said "these fucking punks."
So, if Zimmerman thinks the suspicious fellow might be a burglar, which he does think, per Corey, what is odd about Zimmerman's remarks? Nothing!

Corey uses hindsight and "Martin wasn't breaking any law" to cast aspersions on having suspicion. That's asinine - the police have suspicion all the time, regarding people who aren't breaking any law. How many Terry stops, prosecutor, are undertaken against people who are not committing a crime? Plenty - probably 20 a day in her jurisdiction alone. And what justifies the stop? Suspicion.

Corey is going to have her ass handed to her in court. I don't think the court of public opinion is going to be kind to her either.

BM

Hanneng, From your link:
"That a struggle ensued is about the only thing an affidavit can say without straying completely outside the bounds of what can be justifiably asserted right now"

Right now or at any time because if they had something stronger they would have included it. In the meantime this statement is false because we have to different witnesses with Martin on top of Zimmerman, and one has stated Zimmerman was screaming for help. So this is not all that can be justifiably be said about the struggle.

See if I had any evidence that Zimmerman's story, told on the spot with no chance for contemplation (the police were in route and arrived immediately), was false then I would have included it. For example, any evidence that Martin was on the recieving end of any blows, gouges in the wet lawn next to the sidewalk, witnesses, anything that indicates Zimmerman started the fight then I would have claimed Zimmerman initiated the struggle.

BigSoph

The intent here is obvious. The DoJ wants a sacrifice for the "Black Community" (i.e. Sharpton, Jackson, the NBP).
They want to send a man to prison that will be, at a minimum, assaulted repeatedly there.
This is now law, this is not justice; this IS mob rule.
Why has the DoJ not issued arrest warrants for the NBP offering money for incitement to kidnap or murder? I am guessing this came from on high - the NBP is the core of The One's potential thugs for hire

DebinNC

From the affidavit, "Zimmerman spoke to the dispatcher and asked for an officer to respond because Zimmerman perceived that Martin was acting suspicious

Shouldn't Corey have made that "acting suspiciously"? If so, hope the grammarians let her know. heh

BigSoph

Whoops, should be "This is not law" not "This is now law"

Patrick Carroll

Zimmerman will be exonerated. "Urban" youth will riot and vandalize. America's voluntary resegregation will continue apace.

cboldt

-- See if I had any evidence that Zimmerman's story, told on the spot with no chance for contemplation (the police were in route and arrived immediately), was false then I would have included it. --

Exactly. The dog that didn't bark. There is no evidence that Zimmerman initiated the struggle, or any evidence that he is inclined to seek close quarters confrontation with people he finds suspicious.

Pofarmer

""Coming closer" and "staring" are inconsistent with being afraid and with acting so as to minimize the possibility of physical contact."

It might be pretty consistent with being high, though.

bunkerbuster

The wishful thinking continues:
``if Zimmerman thinks the suspicious fellow might be a burglar, which he does think, per Corey, what is odd about Zimmerman's remarks? Nothing!''
What is odd, and unreasonable, is that he suspects Martin with no credible evidence whatsoever and, even less reasonable, even curses and shows himself to be emotionally involved when, by every sane measure, there is only a miniscule chance that a random person walking through the neighborhood is engaged in crime.
The problem with white-power racists is that they can't separate their ethnically-profiled world -- the one in which ANY black teen walking through a neighborhood is probably a criminal -- from reality. So to them, it was natural for Zim to voice the suspicions and use the hateful language he used about Martin.
But to ordinary Americans, using that kind of language about another person with zero factual or logical reason is definitively unreasonable and quintessentially "odd."

cboldt

-- Zimmerman may have been in his vehicle when he uttered those words and then exited the vehicle to get close enough to verify his supposition [that Martin was black] --

Zimmerman is uncertain at first, but when Martin closes distance with Zimmerman, comes closer while Zimmerman is in his vehicle, Zimmerman can see that the fellow starting at him, and sticking his hands in his waistband, he can see that person is black.

Dispatcher: Did you see what he was wearing?

Zimmerman: Yeah. A dark hoodie, like a grey hoodie, and either jeans or sweatpants and white tennis shoes. He's here now, he was just staring.

Dispatcher: OK, he's just walking around the area...

Zimmerman: looking at all the houses.

Dispatcher: OK...

Zimmerman: Now he's just staring at me.

Dispatcher: OK-you said it's 1111 Retreat View? Or 111?

Zimmerman: That's the clubhouse...

Dispatcher: That's the clubhouse, do you know what the-he's near the clubhouse right now?

Zimmerman: Yeah, now he's coming towards me.

Dispatcher: OK.

Zimmerman: He's got his hand in his waistband. And he's a black male.

Dispatcher: How old would you say he looks?

Zimmerman: He's got button on his shirt, late teens.

bunkerbuster

So suppose the prosecutor has other evidence against Zimmerman. Does she have to include it in the affidavit?

cboldt

Before that remark to dispatch that confirmed Martin was black, Zimmerman responds to dispatch "White, black or hispanic?" question with "He looks black." If my internal clock is close, this is about 20-25 seconds before Martin runs and Zimmerman gets out of his vehicle.

Anyway, Zimmerman didn't get out of the vehicle to facilitate answering dispatch question about identifying characteristics. It appears he got out of the vehicle in order to facilitate the police making contact with Martin.

DebinNC

Finally read the affidavit, talk about loaded language...Zimmerman on first sight "assumed Martin was a criminal"...who "didn't belong in the gated community". Shameful mischaracterizing.

Melinda Romanoff

O.M.G., Does that get taught?

Mike V.

A few things FWIW.

* In Florida, the charging document isn't a warrant and does not have to be signed by a judge or magistrate, only notarized. But you can be sure it was edited/vetted by the State Attorneys handling the case
* Only information helpful to the prosecution is put in the charging document, hence "the struggle ensued" statement rather than a description of the last few minutes as that wouldn't have been helpful to the State's case.
* I was a copin the same jusicial curcuit as Sanford for 9 years. The State Attorney's Office there IMHO only takes slam dunk cases to court, so if there was any belief that Z was telling the truth (and he did pass a version of the Lie Detector), they would have passed I believe.
* There is the right of unlimited depositions in criminal cases so key witnesses will be deposed by the defense at least twice of a span of weeks or months looking for changes in the statements of witnesses no matter how small.

Rick Ballard

Thanks, cboldt, I should have rechecked the transcript. Have you seen a verification of the time for the initiation of Zimmerman's call to the dispatcher? The wiki says "approximately 7:00PM" which would lead to a 14-15 minute response time by SPD. I had the impression that they had responded more quickly.

DebinNC

Welcome, Mike V. Look forward to reading your insights as this goes along.

cboldt

-- Finally read the affidavit, talk about loaded language... --


"He was profiled", "Wasn't committing a crime"


And on the one you quoted, "Zimmerman felt Martin did not belong in the gated community."


That's inflammatory rhetoric. She could say that Zimmerman didn't recognize the person, and with no other reason had suspicion. That would not acknowledge Zimmerman's testimony and the recorded call about looking at houses, lingering, playing stare-down, etc. - but at least it would attribute the use of reason rather than emotion, to Zimmerman's call to dispatch.

Pofarmer

"* I was a copin the same jusicial curcuit as Sanford for 9 years. The State Attorney's Office there IMHO only takes slam dunk cases to court, so if there was any belief that Z was telling the truth (and he did pass a version of the Lie Detector), they would have passed I believe."

The original prosecutor did. The second, very special prosecutor, well, I still think has been pressured by DOJ.

Another Bob

Mike V.: Thanks. Please stick around and offer expert opinion where you can.

cboldt: Just so you know, I'm following whatever thread you're posting on. Thanks for the effort, many are paying attention.

cboldt

-- Have you seen a verification of the time for the initiation of Zimmerman's call to the dispatcher? --


No. I haven't gotten my mind to focus on any of the timing details more than in a general fashion.

DebinNC

That's inflammatory rhetoric

Exactly, and the need to go that route only highlights the feebleness of her case.

willem

So, GZ was maintaining line of sight on the subject of interest. He was there to observe; implicitly to maintain continuity of observation, not on behalf of 911, but on behalf of the neighbors in his official community role as neighborhood watch.

What ever happened to an acknowledging wave of the arm; a "Hello" or "May I help you?"

How easily Trayvon could have made a comment to the observing GZ. How easily Trayvon could have said "I'm staying with my auntie in apt xxx."

But Trayvon was apparently militant and unresponsive until GZ asked "What are you doing here?"

And at that, apparently, Trayvon's attack began.

It all seems to sum this way:

Did GZ ignore police instruction? No.

Did GZ deviate from reasonable or normal practice in an official neighborhood watch capacity? There is yet no evidence to the contrary.

Does maintaining line-of-sight constitute stalking, intimidate or assault when that is the formal community role of the observer formally operating on behalf of the subject neighborhood? No.

Was GZ arrested immediately after the shooting? Yes. He was detained, cuffed and taken to the station by armed escort.

Municipal bureaucrats loathe large public events because not allowing such events pays the same; no trash to pick up, no risk of mayhem, no remnants of bodily functions to encounter in the commons post-event, no crushing budget breakers, no political insiders raising hell, etc.

We look at the Carpetbaggers rattling spears about riots in the streets and think one way. Municipal and local bureaucrats look at it differently -- they have to endure these assholes and clean their shit up, piece by piece, while getting roasted over the political hellfire that they did not cause, were prevented from preventing and were not paid an extra penny to put up with.

This, I think, is what is driving Corey's actions: "Let Zimmerman pay for it too."

So Corey built this miserable straw man of an allegation to Carpetbagger specification. Not a politically unreasonable dodge, given her choice of maintaining a limited focus.

GZ will pay for his role in the cost of his defense against allegations posited to protect the respective bureaucrats from the misery of Carpetbagger-inflamed miscreants and sociopaths tearing up the public commons and LE/Court capacity in the process.

But this ignores the enabling of the Carpetbaggers by the bureaucratic elite. The bureaucratic elite should also pay, and not be allowed to have GZ pay for them.

GZ has done nothing to facilitate the decades of "serial lies and criminality enabled in lieu of reparations."

But there is no "white man" other than in Carpetbagger mythology. There is nothing monolithic about light-skinned cultures or dark-skinned cultures. And the matter of creed is even more separate. The entire construct of black-white race is phrenologic, anti-scientific and a profound fraud being perpetrated on the nation and its children who have been enslaved to a fraudulent idea that serves only to further enrich and empower the Carpetbagger creed.

And yet, in an era of draconian "Homeland Security" and the depraved militarization of municipal police, Carpetbaggers openly make terroristic threats with apparent absolute impunity.

Carpetbagger terrorism is NOT the fault of GZ. Serial criminality that makes neighborhood watch essential is NOT the fault of GZ.

Why should GZ be made to pay for that, Ms. Corey?

Let us have honesty and transparency here, and let us see the rest of the indictments for incitement to riot, conspiracy to violate the civil rights of GZ and the other terroristic threats made by Carpetbaggers.

With grand bureaucratic finesse, Corey has built a straw man on GZ's dime shaped to embody the perfect likeness as portrayed by the Carpetbaggers who know him so well, even though they have never actually met him.

Ok, Ms Cory. Maybe so. You might be right about what's best.

But let's see the rest of the indictments and put the Carpetbagging terrorists and racketeering cohorts behind bars where they belong, rather than leave them in the street that champions a criminal creed that murders too many children and makes the others slaves to a fraudulent identity that is utterly contrived european phrenology; a rote worship of ignorance and anti-science.

cboldt

-- Just so you know, I'm following whatever thread you're posting on. Thanks for the effort, many are paying attention. --


Heh - well, just so you know, I make plenty of mistakes. I try to get it right in the long run, so change of mind is inevitable on some points. The best thing any of us can do is use our own mind to reach an independent conclusion.

cboldt

-- Only information helpful to the prosecution is put in the charging document, hence "the struggle ensued" statement rather than a description of the last few minutes as that wouldn't have been helpful to the State's case. --


I think the remarks baked that in, and were speculating on the strength of the underlying evidence. If Corey had evidence that Zimmerman initiated the struggle, the affidavit would claim that.

DebinNC

I jokingly noted above this error in the affidavit to tweek the overnight grammar nazis, but here's a serious question re the affidavit which states:

Zimmerman spoke to the dispatcher and asked for an officer to respond because Zimmerman perceived that Martin was acting suspicious.

So Corey et al swore in the affidavit to the fact that GZ believed Martin was "acting suspicious"...i.e. Martin appeared to GZ to be suspicious about something, because if Corey meant GZ thought Martin was acting "suspiciously", i.e. in a suspicious manner, they would have said so. Bottom line, the affidavit is shoddy and unprofessional in every way.

rse

cboldt-both the affidavit and that presser performance make it quite clear that corey is more comfortable with emotion than reason as the basis for action.

Threadkiller

"The problem with white Hispanic-power racists is that they can't separate their ethnically Jessie Jackson-profiled world -- the one in which ANY black teen walking through a neighborhood is probably a criminal -- from reality"

Extraneus

Just reading the affidavit, it seems that there is evidence that Martin walked to 7-11 to by skittles and iced tea.

How they know he was "on his way back to the townhouse where he was living" seems a mystery, and how they can say that Zimmerman "falsely assumed" that Martin was going to commit a crime is just b.s.

There's no way they can know these things.

megapotamus

Nice, tight little reference to Neil Young's Powderfinger, a song of amazing impact and perhaps insight here. I love these little Easter eggs!
"Numbers add up to nothing."

cboldt

-- both the affidavit and that presser performance make it quite clear that corey is more comfortable with emotion than reason as the basis for action. --


I think she honesty "hates" Zimmerman, the same way she "hates" the real criminals she deals with. She's convinced, in her heart, that Zimmerman acted in a sociopathic fashion, and deserves to be incarcerated.


I don't think she is acting, or sees this as an unfortunate but necessary act of "political expedience" to quell the risk of riot.


If her affidavit is any signal of her style, she's going to argue like a lefty - non-responsive, unsubstantiated assertion, disconnected streams of logic, etc.

Some guy

What is odd, and unreasonable, is that he suspects Martin with no credible evidence whatsoever and, even less reasonable, even curses and shows himself to be emotionally involved when, by every sane measure, there is only a miniscule chance that a random person walking through the neighborhood is engaged in crime.

Bunkerbluster no wonder you have such a hard time following this case, even getting facts not in dispute simply wrong. When you are so married to a particular narrative, eventually your brain can’t process contrary facts, and you’ll just manufacture ones that fit.

It isn’t “odd”, or “unreasonable” at all if you actually can hold all the *undisputed* facts in your head and interconnect them: it was a gated community, with a finite number of residents. Therefore, there are no “random” persons walking *through* the neighborhood. There had been a series of prior unsolved crimes in the complex. Therefore there is a much higher than “miniscule” chance that a random person walking through the complex is engaged in a crime.

If you could hold even the most basic facts together long enough, you would realize that the neighborhood watch captain was likely to have been able to recognize every resident of the complex, and would therefore know who should and who shouldn’t be “walking through”. Because you can’t even seem to process this very simple reality, based on facts not in dispute, you are actually calling complete strangers “racists” on a public forum.

To quote you – But to ordinary Americans, using that kind of language about another person with zero factual or logical reason is definitively unreasonable and quintessentially "odd." Stop being so freak’n odd. Not to mention rude. Stop being so intentionally stupid, and realize that a white individual behaving identically to Martin would not have magically made all this different.


Melinda Romanoff

President of NOW weighs in on Ann Romney's lack of "Life Experience" and "Imagination".

Waiting for President "Reasonable" in 3..2..

bunkerbuster

One of the problems with Zimmerman's account is that it requires an abrupt change in the attitudes and interests of both parties.
Zimmerman, who is armed and has a clear intent to prevent crime, believes he sees a probable criminal. He is certain enough about this to call the police.
He is angry and frustrated at the presence of this person. He is using language that clearly suggests he sees Martin as potentially armed: "he's reaching into his waistband.''
He is breathing hard, undeniably agitated. His shopping trip has just been interrupted by someone he sees as both an "asshole" and a "punk'' who requires a law enforcement encounter.
So at the moment Zimmerman comes face-to-face with Martin, it seems almost certain that Zimmerman is agitated and, possibly, fearful.
Is Zimmerman, given his state of mind, likely to confront Martin peacefully or with some level of aggression?
So what does the evidence say about Martin's state of mind?
He's on his way home from a convenience store. So, suppose Zimmerman's feverish fears are nonetheless correct and Martin is actually casing townhouses, looking for an open window or somesuch. I know that seems unlikely, but since we're just speculating, we needn't really rule it out, either.
But if he's got burglary on his mind, doesn't he either evade Zimmerman or at last play it cool? Wouldn't he have something with him? A bag? A -- guffaw -- "burglary tool'' as described in the conservative media?
So, ironically enough, if Zimmerman's paranoia was actually serendipity and Martin was "up to no good" then it makes no sense whatsoever that he would deliberately entangle himself with a suspicious, oddly aggressive passerby.
Or what about the hypothesis that Martin was simply one of those 17-year-old's who enjoys violence. Firstly, he'd surely have a track record of fistfights. You can be in a public school 17 with a temper and/or violent streak and not amass a record of fistfights. It simply is not possible.
More important, perhaps, 17-year-old gangsta wannabes have not motive to beat down an older man when they're all alone away from their friends in a town where they don't know anyone.
Punks, gangsta wannabes and, certainly, actual gangsters view violence in a highly ritualistic, tribal way such that there would be no point whatsoever in kicking somebody's ass unless your homies -- or an audience of some kind -- were there to see it happen.
17-year-old punks don't start fistfights out of a sense of playfulness or general meanness, they do it out of insecurity, which means there no point at all to it if noone is there to see them do it.
But maybe Zimmerman said something or did something that set Martin off. We just don't know yet and may never.
But my long-winded, desultory point is, again, the only way Martin starts the fight is if he goes AGAINST all the natural, plausible motives AND Zimmerman acts AGAINST all his natural, plausible motives.
DoT: Dersh saying something that overlaps with what wingnuts say doesn't make him a wingnut. Look up "Venn diagram" in wikipedia. That may open some doors for you, intellectually.

jim

@Daddy
Zimmerman aspired to be a cop and had called the police before. He knows to give a detailed description.

As for the dispatcher discouraging Z to follow TM; Who was the dispatcher concerned for? Z or the runner?

willem

I wonder what the youth shooting and death rates are amongst those beholden to the Mormon creed?

Anybody know?

President 'Reasonable' and Carpetbagger-In-Chief.

A.W.O.L.

CSN&Y should have sung "530 dead in Shee-ca-go".

Yep. 530 children shot dead since 2008.

Another Progressive Omelette in the making; a petit tragic opera written in blood with a Carpetbaggers pen..

'A Barack Omletta'

Soon to go nationwide.

bunkerbuster

Some guy: It's not only implausible that Zimmerman knows everyone in the complex, it's not factual. He didn't know Martin, nor the Martin family. If he had, none of this would have happened.
I'm afraid you're the one being parsimonious with facts, given your narrative has so little capacity for them.
Moreover, Zimmerman indicates in the 911 call that, initially, he can't even be sure what color skin the guy has. He says he "thinks" he's black the later, when Martin comes closer, he repeats that Martin is "black." Either Zimmerman wasn't sure the first time, or he's a little nervous or obsessed with Martin's skin color.
You say the previous crimes in the neighborhood were "unsolved." So why do you think that raises the suspicion about someone walking through the complex? If they were "unsolved" they could have been committed by other residents. If you're going to be stingy with the facts in your narrative, at least try to think them through.
And if Zimmerman's concerns were reasonable, why would he use the expletives and insults?

bunkerbuster

willem: mathematical probabilities are definitely not where you want to go with this case, unless you want to guarantee Zimmerman never spends another day as a free man...

Some guy

Darn, a swing and miss bunkerbuddy.

I didn’t present that GZ knew every resident as a fact. Only likelihood. Too bad.

However, I did notice that once your entire – ‘just a guy walking down a public thoroughfare’ – a key foundation to your entire narrative, was eliminated with simple facts; you are now quite anxious to change the subject to something else. When the house’s foundation is gone, changing the subject to talk about the drapes doesn’t help make the house stand.

Annoying Old Guy

Is it established that Zimmerman continued following/watching Martin after the dispatcher said "we don't need you to do that"? My memory of the timeline is that Zimmerman claimed to be heading back to his truck after that which makes the entire "disobeyed dispatcher" point even more moot. Do I have that sequence incorrect?

Alan S.

You know this Affidavit doesn't even state the necessary elements of Murder 2 in Florida.

Mens rea is "depraved" mind; the Affidavit doesn't even make a conclusory recitation that Zimmerman was acting with a "depraved" mind, much less provide any factual predicate to support such an assertion.

Amateur hour. Oh yes I also loved when Corey referred to Martin's parents as his "sweet parents." WTF?????

Brian

Sorry Tom, "a struggle ensued" is not in the passive voice.

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3897

Have Blue

Brian - I could have sworn you stated you were never going to return.

BlahBlahBlah

Alan S,
"Mens rea is "depraved" mind; the Affidavit doesn't even make a conclusory recitation that Zimmerman was acting with a "depraved" mind, much less provide any factual predicate to support such an assertion."

Yeah, it doesn't show Depraved mind

It does allude to Malicious/Wanton Disregard though, through the following leaps it presents:

~ Zimmerman profiled the individual, identifying him as a "Punk", deciding (and conveying to dispatch) he didn't want him to "get away"
~ Zimmerman then pursued the individual while carrying a gun
~ dispatcher (*cough*) ordered (*cough*) Zimmerman not to pursue the individual, which Zimmerman "disregarded"
~ Zimmerman therefore showed an overwhelming desire to confront and/or attempt to apprehend the individual while carrying a deadly force weapon

Showing said desire to chase and apprehend a "punk" while carrying a weapon would lead to a strong possibility a death would occur. Had he followed the dispatchers "order" then assumption is no death would have occurred. That is Implied Malice or Wanton Disregard and satisfies the stipulations in 2nd Degree Murder

Now, its a huge leap of logic and an extremely shaky argument at best, but it does fit the specific requirements as needed and might possibly keep the case from being tossed out instantly. Maybe...

Porchlight

DoT: Dersh saying something that overlaps with what wingnuts say doesn't make him a wingnut. Look up "Venn diagram" in wikipedia. That may open some doors for you, intellectually.

Hey dumbass, DoT took criminal law from Dershowitz at HLS. I'm pretty sure he's got a handle on that Venn diagram concept you looked up at Wiki, wrt Dersh and everything else.

cboldt

-- Is it established that Zimmerman continued following/watching Martin after the dispatcher said "we don't need you to do that"? My memory of the timeline is that Zimmerman claimed to be heading back to his truck after that which makes the entire "disobeyed dispatcher" point even more moot. --


Zimmerman's actions after the dispatcher said "We don't need you to do that" (at 2:26 into one recording) have to be inferred from the sounds and dialog after he answers "OK." He doesn't say he is going back to his truck, but from the sound of his voice and other sounds, he is no longer running or winded. The dialog is about where to meet with the responding officer, and ends at the 4:07 mark. There are no sounds or words that indicate Zimmerman had reached his truck by then.


There are also no indications that he was following Martin, or even had Martin in sight.


A "disobeyed dispatcher" conclusion is directly contradicted by the recording, so either depends on other evidence, or is a fabrication.

cboldt

There's another person, won't and can't be a witness, but Trayvon's cousin also claims the voice on the 911 call is Trayvon.

Trayvon's cousin: It's him screaming on tape - Nancy Grace - April 2

Trayvon Martin's cousin told HLN's Nancy Grace Monday that he is certain the screams heard during a 911 call moments before Martin's fatal shooting by George Zimmerman were coming from the 17-year-old.

"I hear my little cousin crying, screaming, `Help, help!' It still haunts me to this day," Ronquavis Fulton said in an exclusive interview, referring to the recorded call from the night of February 26

I wonder if this is the same cousin who tweeted, after the incident, "rip trayvon i know you beat his ass though"

BlahBlahBlah

"911 dispatcher: Alright, where are you going to meet with them at?

Zimmerman: Um, if they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the clubhouse and, uh, straight past the clubhouse and make a left and then go past the mailboxes you’ll see my truck. [3:10]"

then

"Could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at? [3:49]"

That change of (implied) statement, coupled with whatever he may have said he did during the walk-thru, is likely the basis for the "disregard/disobey" argument by the prosecution

Its weak, but it does show that Zimmerman said/implied he was going to wait by his car but then said they should call him as if maybe he would not be there. And if he showed just that when he provided the walkthru (which only makes sense anyway since he was away from the car when the attack happened) then its confirmed he was likely "looking" (or even worse, "hunting" if they wanted to inflame) for Martin.

Remember also, Zimmerman hung up the phone at 7:13:40 while the confrontation happened roughly 7:16 (based off at least the GFs call) so he should have been able to get back to the truck in those 2 minutes if he intended to do so.

None the less, Martin had roughly 5 minutes to get from "he's running" to the safety of his house, and he instead ends up within a stones throw of Zimmermans truck. Hard to argue Martin wasn't acting as an aggressor there...

cboldt

-- ts weak, but it does show that Zimmerman said/implied he was going to wait by his car but then said they should call him as if maybe he would not be there. --


I speculate that Zimmerman planned to drive. He would be in his truck, but he did not know where he and his truck would be when the responding officer arrived.

BlahBlahBlah

"I speculate that Zimmerman planned to drive. He would be in his truck, but he did not know where he and his truck would be when the responding officer arrived."

That would be possible if he hadnt given driving directions to his truck.

If his truck wasnt going to be there, why would he do that?

Joan

cboldt: "If her affidavit is any signal of her style, she's going to argue like a lefty - non-responsive, unsubstantiated assertion, disconnected streams of logic*, etc."

'The left and *logic' defies any assertion of logic :) disconnected or not ... they lie, prevaricate, distort.

cboldt

-- That would be possible if he hadnt given driving directions to his truck. If his truck wasnt going to be there, why would he do that? --

He changed his mind during the course of the conversation. He described where his truck was, then decided (or realized) he didn't want to commit to meeting the responding officer by the mailboxes or at some particular location of his truck. I speculate that he wasn't going to sit in the stationary truck, but was going to drive. It's possible he didn't have a firm plan on driving route, just a general direction, and it might have taken him outside the gated community.

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Wilson/Plame