1. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    The George Zimmerman Trial

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by JJ_Maxx, Jun 30, 2013.

    I'm surprised no one has talked about this yet. What do you all think of the trial so far?

    I think it's seen it's share of sideshow antics but I honestly don't see how a jury can determine his guilt 'beyond a reasonable doubt'.

    There really weren't any witnesses and both sides are using the secondary evidence to their own advantage.

    Having Trayvons girlfriend up there was a bad choice for the prosecution. She did not hold up well under examination.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The witnesses have conflicting versions of what happened. So I agree with you about the jury not being able to determine his guilt.

    Also, I found it interesting that six women were chosen as the jurors.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If Zimmerman confronted Martin then Trayvon had a right to defend himself, even if Martin threw the first punch. Zimmerman's argument of self defense isn't valid if he confronted Martin. A lot of people aren't considering that. So no matter who through the first punch and/or how badly Zimmerman was being beaten, you cannot start a fight then claim self defense, even in Florida.

    It's clear Zimmerman followed Trayvon. No doubt there. But here's where Zimmerman's statement has big holes. Z claims he got out of his SUV to find an address and M was hiding and attacked.

    But there are no address numbers on the back of the condos, he had no reason to be where the shot was fired unless he was following M.

    You'll also notice Z is claiming self defense rather than "stand your ground". It reflects on the problems he has with his defense.

    Not sure this blogger has it right but here's the idea:
    That's the case Z has to prove, not just that M hit him or was banging his head on concrete.

    And that's a harder case to prove when you start by claiming you weren't the aggressor and the jury sees evidence you were.
     
  4. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Well, all we know is that he began to follow M. When he was told by the 911 operator he didn't have to follow him, Z replied 'Okay.' and then said 'He ran.' After that Z had a reasonably long boring conversation with operator. If M was running, and Z was still chasing him, he wouldn't have continued to have the conversation with the 911 operator on where to meet.

    I would suggest everyone read the full transcript:

    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/326700-full-transcript-zimmerman.html

    A witness claims he saw M on top of Z, possibly assaulting him. He seems to be a key witness.

    Besides, isnt the burden of proof on the prosecution? Or do I have that backward?
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Here are some relevant cases in FL legal history. They all seem to be very old cases so I'll keep looking to see if they still apply.
    It's not 100% dependent upon whether or not Z was afraid of M. The judge's instructions to the jury about the law will be key, that and the problem Z has with his claims that are are inconsistent with the evidence (not the witness testimony per se, but the timing, the recorded calls and the location of the killing.


    If this were not the case, all you'd have to do to murder someone is attack them, then claim self defense. M had a reason to be afraid of Z, it was reasonable he would fight Z. The crime began here when Z followed M, not when M hit Z.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Prove guilt, yes, but the problem Z has is not that M hit him, or even banged his head on the sidewalk. The problem Z has came after the exchange you cite. Z should have been in his SUV waiting for the police. How did he get to the back of the condos where the killing occurred?

    Even if he went to look for an address, he lives in the complex. He would know there were no addresses in the back walkway. The only reason he would possibly have to be there would have been to follow M.
     
  7. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    What do you define as confronting? If I say, "Hey, you," you have no right to start punching me. If I grab your arm and turn you around to talk to you, yes, defend yourself. But without being threatened with bodily harm, there is no excuse to start physically defending yourself.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Here's some more on the law, again, notice Zimmerman did not choose to use the Stand Your Ground Law. Why do you think that was?

    776.041 Use of force by aggressor.
    Claiming he feared for his life is one thing, but doing so with holes in your story is another. He shouldn't have lied and if the prosecution shows he did, then that shows Z wasn't truthful about fearing for his life. Unless Z gets on the stand and explains why he lied about following M, I'm not so sure there is reasonable doubt.
     
  9. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't been following the trial, so I can't really comment on what sort of witness the girlfriend was. However, the big problem with these criminal trials, when they become media circuses, is that it takes away from what really should be going on. Yes, the prosecution has the burden of proof, and because this is a criminal trial, the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt." However, this does not mean "beyond any doubt whatsoever." When these things take on a life of their own, with endless television and internet prognosticators, the facts get clouded and all sorts of theories gain traction and sound plausible. You end up with a lot of high emotions and outrage on both sides.

    From that portion of the transcript, it certainly sounds like Z really had no business following M and brought the whole situation on himself, and therefore his claim of self defense seems shaky. Based on the media coverage, my impression is that he is guilty. But my opinion could be different if I were on the jury.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If you were being followed by a stranger in the dark, you don't think that's threatening? When the guy comes up behind you, and he's been following you for a couple blocks, would you wait to act?

    Personally, I thought the girlfriend was credible, Z approached M who asked why Z was following him, and within seconds the physical altercation began. I couldn't be sure of the "get off, get off" so I'm not including that in my assessment.

    I think it also depends, Garball, if Z's, "hey you", was when Z was right next to M or several feet away.
     
  11. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    This article is a good point of reference for the whole story, including maps and how M had plenty of time to "run home" if that was his intention, as his girlfriend testified.

    Check it out:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/m-getting_the_facts_straight_in_the_zimmerman_case.html

    The SPD did not tell Z not to pursue, as a lot of reports claim. The dispatcher told him, 'We don't need you to do that.' You could fill in with '...if you don't want to.'

    The SPD was aware of Zimmerman, because he had worked with them previously when he began the neighborhood watch.

    Also, before this turned into a national story, while still bloody and bruised, Z hand-wrote a detailed account of the incident and has not deviated from it.

    He was not profiled for being black, he was profiled for acting suspicious in an area recently struck by crime. Something neighborhood watches are supposed to do. He did the right thing.

    If you listen to the 911 call, he stop following M when asked, and M had more than enough time to get home. Instead, he possibly doubled back and confronted Z, as Z's account says.
     
  12. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    What if I were to honestly say that I would not react in physical violence? What would your argument be? I'm a reasonable person and I don't find attacking another person without exhausting other measures of escape. However, I don't have to answer that way. The law tells me I have to.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You got a guy with a gun chasing a kid in the dark. The kid saw the man chasing him.

    My point is the law does not require Martin to be a pacifist. It does not require him to not fight back if he felt threatened. How is it Zimmerman can defend himself but Martin cannot?


    We don't know all the facts yet. I know there are inconsistencies in Zimmerman's story. Why is that? I know he chose a self defense plea instead of a stand your ground plea. Why was that? If Martin was the aggressor, Zimmerman had a right to stand his ground. If Zimmerman was the aggressor, he only had a right to defend himself with lethal force under limited circumstances. If not, then anyone who wanted to kill someone could just pick a fight and claim they shot because they were losing the fight.

    I'm waiting for the evidence that explains how it was Zimmerman was in the back of the condos in the first place if he had stopped following Martin and was going back to his SUV.
     
  14. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    This is, in my opinion, a gross over-simplification of a complex situation. M had no way of knowing whether Z had a gun, so it's irrelevant.

    You are contradicting yourself. By your own words, if I can beat the crap out of someone simply for approaching me, everyone could do it and claim self defense. Feeling threatened is not a lawful blank check to assault someone.

    See above. Martin has no right to use lethal force for 'feeling threatened.' Zimmerman has a right to use a deadly weapon (gun) against a deadly weapon. (fists)


    Yes, but there are inconsistencies in Martins case as well, isnt there?

    Stand your ground is just an add-on to self defense laws. It just means you don't have to try to run away before meeting force with force. It doesn't apply here because Martin was holding Zimmerman down so he couldn't run away. This was self defense, open and shut, no need for stand your ground.

    Look at the map, he started following M down the back of the condos, then turned around and was walking back to his truck. You can hear this on the 911 call.
     
  15. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    Agree with JJ Maxx. A HUGE over-simplification. Not to mention the fact that the race and age of the two has nothing to do with anything. Zimmerman didn't know the suspect was 17 (and at that age one can have the body of a grown man. I, for example, stopped developing at 16) and regardless, a 17 year old can commit murder, robbery, rape, etc. just the same as a 30 year old man can. There are tapes upon tapes of children fighting for the taliban, and they kill just the same as their adult counter-parts.



    It requires him to not attack someone unless defending himself. Someone approaching you and asking "what are you doing here" does not merit beating the person to death. Which, for all we know, could've been the result had deadly force NOT been used. Being beaten, however, DOES merit a violent response in self-defense.

    Not sure about the stand your ground v. self defense so can't tell you much on that. As far as the evidence goes we can certainly see that Martin was winning the fight. And this goes beyond eye-witness testimoney and into the realm of physical evidence. Apparently there were grass stains on Zimmerman's back, which support his claim that he was on the bottom (not to mention the photos). It also supports the claim that Zimmerman was the one screaming, as the guy on top screaming wouldn't make any sense (unless Zimmerman is an evil mastermind who called the cops and set up the most elabrate cover up for murder I've ever heard of)

    So far, everything Zimmerman has said adds up, with the exception of why he was back behind those houses. Even then though, it is POSSIBLE that he was simply doing what he thought was right and had turned around after being instructed to do so by the police.

    Hasn't Martin's girlfriend already been proven to have lied already? It amazes me that you can still try to take testimoney from a person who's already commited purgery. Everything she says cannot be trusted at this point.

    The burden of proof lies on the prosecution and, so far, they have nothing. With ALL the physical evidence supporting Zimmerman's claim, and the only evidence against him is eyewitness accounts which differ from others, I can't believe this thing actually went to trail. The prosecution has nothing.

    Or so it seems. I'm not on the jury, so I'm just speculating.
     
  16. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Actually, the witness that says they saw Zimmerman on top of Martin, was because Zimmerman had already shot him, but was still fearing for his life so he got on top of him to detain him until the police arrived. Zimmerman was on top of Martin, but only after the shot was fired.

    Zimmerman, before this case went crazy, admitted to getting on top of Martin after shooting him. As soonas police arrived he put his hands over his head and indicated to the police where his firearm was. (Standard police protocol.)

    I don't see any jury convicting Zimmerman unless it's under pressure to prevent a race riot which could follow a not-guilty verdict. (Which is a sad commentary on the state of race in this country.)
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    We will likely never know with any certainty exactly what went on that evening in the moments just before the shot fired. Given what I've read of the trial, I have a hard time seeing a jury get past reasonable doubt at this point. Doesn't mean Zimmerman is telling the truth, but I think the State is falling short of that standard.
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    Screen freeze ate my whole long reply. :mad:

    Anyway, I'll recreate the short version.

    People here are missing a key piece of evidence, Zimmerman's interview the night of the shooting before he found out who he had killed. And his interview the next day and with the walk through of the crime scene.

    Transcript Singleton Interview, 1st Tape, 2/26/2012
    Zimmerman lies heavily here.

    Zimmerman's cop wannabe seems to be sprinkled in his account. Martin was shot through the heart, his heart instantly stopped pumping blood to his brain. It was not physically possible he talked after he was shot.

    Z says M circled the car, ducked in and out of who knows where. Does he say M circled the car to the dispatcher? Does he describe M ducking in and out of places before Z lost sight of him?

    He's pointing at the complex map. Where did he walk "straight through looking for a house number"? There are no house numbers there and there would have been if he stayed on the street.

    That is consistent with Zimmerman making the story up, not with the evidence.

    He was interviewed the next day. There were more inconsistencies in the story.
    Complete Transcript, Serino Interview, 2/27/2012
    Is there anywhere on the 911 recording that sounds like someone muffling the screamer's mouth? At this point Z didn't know there was a recording of the screams.

    That's not consistent at all with the witness who said Z was on the bottom.


    And it's been claimed that the police believed Z's self defense story, that's not true.

    Tapes show Sanford Police grew skeptical of Zimmerman's story
     
  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Here's a link to the audio tapes people should listen to before being so certain there's no reasonable doubt against the self defense claim:
    Audio of George Zimmerman's statements made to the Sanford Police Department regarding his shooting of Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's easy-peasy!

    if he hadn't gotten out of his car with a loaded gun and followed the boy, he couldn't have been in a situation where he might fear for his life and wouldn't have shot anyone... that's manslaughter pure and simple, even if 'murder two' can't be proven...
     
  21. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Sorry, but that's not a very good argument. He was within his legal rights with both having a gun, and patrolling his neighborhood. While it's true he followed the boy to maintain eye contact, he lost track of Martin when he ran. Everything he did up until the point he was assaulted was perfectly legal and acceptable. The law will not take any of these legal actions into account.
     
  22. GingerCoffee
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    So you are ignoring the evidence that doesn't fit your scenario then?

    They are playing the tapes now and interviewing Detective Singleton. Zimmerman's statements are inconsistent with the evidence on the 911 tapes.

    The position of Martin's body is not consistent with the claim of the sidewalk head bashing.

    Zimmerman's story is inconsistent with the witness who said GZ was on the bottom. GZ said he got on top of Martin after he shot him and was on top when he talked to the witness in question.

    Martin's sweatshirt is grey not black and the red and black jacket is darker in color.

    The scream is interrupted by the gunshot.

    GZ claims Martin was talking after being shot. The autopsy says that's not possible. You lose consciousness instantly when shot directly in the heart. Blood immediately stops going to the brain.

    GZ claims he walked through to see a street sign. The whole complex only has 3 street names, Twin Trees, Retreat View Drive, and Long Oak Way. How would someone who lived there several years, was acting as neighborhood watch, and went to cop wannabe school not know the names of three streets? And, where the killing occurred was not where one would go to see either a street sign or a house number.

    The normally stoic GZ is squirming in his seat right now, in the interview the detective printed up a Google map of the complex and his story didn't fit the facts.
     
  23. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I agree. If he's carrying the weapon legally, which he seemed to be. It isn't a crime to follow the person. He had a right to walk after him and Martin had a right to be there. If they can show he followed him intending to start a confrontation, then that could get you there. I think it is all going to hinge on what the State can prove happened at the time of the confrontation, and that won't be easy. But with a jury you never know.
     
  24. archerfenris
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    Sorry Ginger but it seems to me you have it out for this guy.

    Nothing you've said has convinced me of anything. GZ could have been on the bottom when taking the beating, then after firing, moved to the top to detain him. Furthermore, please post this autopsy report you're citing, I have not heard of it. As far as what I've read (and that is my only source of info, is what I've read), GZ's story is perfectly plausable. The police went through the crime scene the next day and had him reenact what happened.

    If there is some type of breakthough I MAY be able to see a manslaughter charge, but not with the evidence at hand. I find it difficult to believe that a man calls the cops then intentionally picks a fight with a boy just to shoot him, before having to explain what happened to the cops he just called. It makes no sense. A boy trying to be a tough guy punches the "honkey" following him seems much more likely to me.
     
  25. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    And from my perspective a lot of people are applying a bigoted view of Trayvon Martin, including the sentence I bolded.

    I'm only going by the evidence:

    I found the friend who was on the phone to Trayvon to have been credible, except I couldn't say if the, "get off get off", she said she heard was true. It was the only part of her testimony that I didn't hear from her in earlier interviews.

    Zimmerman was following Martin and Martin saw him. In the final minute, Martin asked, "Why are you following me?" Zimmerman replied, "What are you doing here?" I found that description of what the friend heard on the phone consistent with the rest of the evidence.


    Contrast that to Zimmerman, enhancing the threat saying Martin came back into view and circled Zimmerman's car. That is inconsistent with Zimmerman on the phone to dispatch. He enhanced the threat saying Martin was "looking into houses" and "ducking in and out" of the buildings. That's not consistent with someone walking home while talking on the phone to a friend.

    Z claimed he stopped following and was looking for a street name. That's hard to believe but taking it at face value, he said Martin attacked him at the 'T' in the sidewalk. The body was behind the second condo and a tree was between the body and the 'T'.
    [​IMG]
    In that image the 'T' is at or behind the location of the person taking the picture.

    The body's position is not consistent with Z's recorded description of what happened. It is consistent with the friend's testimony of what she heard on the phone.

    Z again enhanced the threat claiming M came out of the bushes and was hitting Z's head on the concrete. That's not consistent with the crime scene or the couple small lacs on his head. The day Z went to the doctor (saw the PA), enough time had passed that bruises in addition to the lacs would have been present. They weren't.

    Z claims the first punch knocked him to the ground. The time Martin's phone cut off and the dispatch call that recorded the shot didn't leave time for the struggle to have moved to the location the body was found.

    autopsy report
    The bullet went through the right atrium of the heart. There was ~2.3 liters of blood where the lungs should have been. When you are shot through the heart (as opposed to nicking it) it can no longer function as a pump. It's not physically possible. The conscious brain is dependent upon continual O[SUB]2[/SUB] in the bloodstream and does not maintain a reserve like one's muscles do. It cannot convert to anaerobic metabolism. You cannot maintain consciousness or talk with a hole in your heart, it's not physically possible. Again Z's account of the events is inconsistent with the evidence. In addition, the blood returning to the heart fills the lung space within a minute. You cannot talk with collapsed lungs, you can't get air through your vocal cords.

    Z's story of M talking after the shot and of Z turning the body over, holding the arms, that whole description is inconsistent with the evidence M could not have moved or talked and Z was up and pacing right after the shot according to several witnesses. It is consistent with what a person might imagine happened if they were making the story up.


    I don't have anything against Zimmerman per se. I don't think much of the fact he was playing cop and carried a loaded gun, but the evidence is what matters here, not what I think of either Martin or Zimmerman.
     

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