Zimmerman Sues NBC Over Alleged Misrepresentation Of Police Tape

Zimmermanx-inset-community220px-nbc_logosvgGeorge Zimmerman appears not to be content with being on the criminal docket alone. He is now a civil litigant in a lawsuit filed against NBC Universal Media for an editing error that portrayed him as a racist in coverage of the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. The very first line of the complaint starts out with an accusation of unethical sensationalism” ““NBC saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so to set about the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain.”

In addition to NBC and NBC’s Ron Allen, the lawsuit names as defendants Lilia Rodriguez Luciano (who was later terminated due to her reporting of the case for NBC) and Jeffrey Burnside of Dade County, another journalist who was also fired by NBC.

The second line is no more favorable: ““Their goal was simple: keep their viewers alarmed, and thus always watching, by menacing them with reprehensible series of imaginary and exaggerated racist claims.”

I am not sure if such reports “menace” viewers but it was clearly wrong and clearly harmful to Zimmerman. The network committed a serious error in the
editing of the 911 audiotape. Here is the audiotape:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.
The full tape went like this:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.

Thus, Zimmerman was not the one who raised race and was specifically asked to give Martin’s race by the police. However, NBC spliced together parts of the recording and left the opposite impression — a very serious mistake and lead to added international condemnation. NBC edited the tape to show Zimmerman stating “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. He’s got his hand in his wraistband. And he’s a black male.” It is truly hard to see how a “mistake” like that could occur without malice, but at best it was gross negligence. It certainly, in my view, raises a legitimate defamation claim.

This is one of four such misrepresentations cited in the complaint which is linked below. This includes stating that Zimmerman said “f—ing coons” on the February 26 call when he said “f—ing punks.”

Count one is an omnibus defamation claim. Count two is an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. He is seeking both joint and several liability as well as punitive damages.

Notably, in some jurisdictions, he could also bring a false light claim. However, the Florida Supreme Court rejected the false light claims, leaving defamation as the only option in such cases. The court found that concerns over false light were valid: “(1) it is largely duplicative of defamation, both in the conduct alleged and the interests protected, and creates the potential for confusion because many of its parameters, in contrast to defamation, have yet to be defined; and (2) without many of the First Amendment protections attendant to defamation, it has the potential to chill speech without any appreciable benefit to society.”

There remains the question of the status of George Zimmerman in any defamation action. A status as a public figure or limited public figure would subject him to the higher standard of “actual malice” and the need to show actual knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of the truth under New York Times v. Sullivan.

The complaint does not concede that Zimmerman is a public figure but it notably accuses the defendant of either actual knowledge or reckless disregard. While higher, there is a plausible basis for such a claim in the case even as a public figure. If Zimmerman tries to sue as an average citizen, he could face the same problem of my former client, Eric Foretich, who was declared a limited public figure due to a brief comment to the media in Foretich v. ABC. Zimmerman’s family made early efforts to frame his image in the media. This is understandable but could be viewed as triggering the higher standard if done with his knowledge or consent. It seems likely that he will be declared either a public figure or limited public figure.

Then there is the novel question of whether Zimmerman falls into a narrow category of a “libel proof” defendant. The complaint states that “[d]ue to the defendants’ journalistic crimes, Zimmerman has been transformed into one of the most hated men in America.” Yet, NBC could argue that his actions and confirmed statements resulted in that status and that, furthermore, he is now so without a good reputation that he is effectively libel proof. If so the court would have to find that Zimmerman’s reputation was already so damaged that he cannot recover more than nominal damages for subsequent defamatory statements. Marcone v. Penthouse Int’l Magazine for Men, 754 F.2d 1072, 1079 (3rd Cir. 1985). This is a relatively rare basis for a dismissal and the plaintiff has to be akin to a Charles Manson.

Zimmerman has long denied the allegations and insisted that he was defending himself. Moreover, these incidents occurred early in the controversy. There is no question that the case quickly took on intense racial elements. I have written before that I believe that the case was over-charged and that the media was engaging in highly unprofessional commentary. I do not believe that the defendants could succeed in a libel-proof claims anymore than Zimmerman will be able to escape the status of a limited public figure.

I also believe that the lawsuit has merit, even with the apology of NBC. The story had already spread across the internet and global media. The apology could protect the company from punitive damages, however, depending on how the evidence unfolds. What do you think?

Here is the complaint.

Source: Washington Post

94 thoughts on “Zimmerman Sues NBC Over Alleged Misrepresentation Of Police Tape

  1. This is silly since Zimmerman’s rep is NOT damaged at all since he has gotten nearly a quarter million dollars in contributions. THAT is a major FACT he will have to explain to the court and jury.

  2. In my opinion the news agency is going to lose this action. In reading the complaint there were multiple times alleged where the defendant misleadingly edited the actual conversation between George Zimmerman and the dispatcher, each time in doing this it was the media that exaggerated the racist aspect of it. Once could be claimed to be an editing error but three times?

    Moreover, according to the complaint it was not just a matter of splicing elements of his statements together misleadingly. One in my view could not have been a mistake, it to me seemed deliberate.

    from the complaint
    In particular, the defendants falsely claimed that Zimmerman said “F____ coons” during the February 26, 2012 call, knowing that claim would incite outrage throughout the Nation

    The truth, as known to the defendants, was that Zimmerman said “f____ punks.”

    How does the defendant expect to be believed that the word Coon could be mistaken for Punks? The mention of Zimmerman that Trayvon was black came only after the dispatcher, in an attempt to identify who the other party was, prompted Zimmerman to say “he looks black”

    Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he white, black, or Hispanic?
    Zimmerman: He looks black.

    I do not see how this could be construed as Zimmerman being a racist just because he answered a question and he answered it without saying Coon or other racial slur. But that was the implied basis in their reporting of the incident.

    The media is going to have a hard time coming out of this unscathed.

    Think of what you like as to his guilt or not, but there is no excuse for this type of yellow journalism.

  3. In the same decision that eliminated the false light cause of action, the FL Supreme Court also recognized & reaffirmed a cause of action for defamation by implication. Specifically, “literally true statements can be defamatory where they create a false impression. If the defendant juxtaposes a series of facts so as to imply a defamatory connection between them, or creates a defamatory implication by omitting facts, he may be held responsible for the defamatory implication even though the particular facts are correct. Defamation by implication applies in circumstances where literally true statements are conveyed in such a way as to create a false impression.” Jews for Jesus, Inc. v. Rapp, 997 So. 2d 1098, 1106-08 (Fla. 2008).

    So FL very much recognizes the right to recover for true statements that give a false impression.

    And in Masson v. New Yorker Magazine, 501 U.S. 496 (1991), the U.S. Supreme Court said that when dealing with direct quotations (as opposed to paraphrasing or commentary about a statement), deliberate alterations that change the material meaning of the original words can be the basis for liability and also demonstrate a knowledge of falsity. Quoting someone out of context in a way that changes the meaning behind what was said is actionable as defamation. Because when quotations are used, loyalty to the speaker’s intended meaning is more important than a precise reproduction of the words spoken. An exact quotation out of context can distort meaning, although the speaker did use each reported word. Masson at 514-17.

    ABC lost its bid to have a case dismissed on similar grounds when they broadcast a partial video clip of a televangelist that changed the viewer’s understanding of what he said. Price v. Stossel, 620 F.3d 992 (9th Cir. 2010) (when dealing with material that is portrayed as a quotation, we are to compare the quotation as published with the words the speaker actually said; where the published quotation contains a material alteration of the meaning conveyed by the speaker, the published quotation is false).

    Zimmerman is indeed a limited public figure and will be required to meet the heightened burden of proof of actual malice (as opposed to mere negligence for private figures). Friedgood v. Peters Pub. Co., 521 So.2d 236 (Fla. 4th DCA 1988); Mile Marker, Inc., v. Petersen Publishing, 811 So.2d 842 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002). However, that shouldn’t be hard to do in this case. At the very least it will most certainly survive a motion to dismiss & will proceed on thru the discovery phase, if it’s not settled before then.

    It’s similar to the incident involving Shirley Sherrod last year when journalist Andrew Breitbart made defamatory claims of racism against her by posting a deceptively edited online clip of a speech she gave. Like Zimmerman’s 911 call, the full recording shows how the out-of-context excerpt distorts the truth in a way that seriously hurts the individual’s reputation. That case is currently on appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by the defendants after the trial judge denied their motion to dismiss based on Anti-SLAPP law.

    Zimmerman’s case is likely to get bogged down the same way in removal to federal court proceedings & then litigation of the Anti-SLAPP issues before the merits are ever addressed.

  4. Does the fact that Zimmerman was selling his autograph effect his celebrity status and invoke the higher standard for malice?

  5. The best one could say is that NBC were trimming seconds of the original recording in the cause of air-time. However, that particular editing really smells of mischief.

    I can’t say IF or to what extent that editing caused Zimmerman to take the view that he had become “one of the most hated men in America”.
    My own view from the very start of this is that he saw Martin primarily as one of the local punks who “always get away”. I never saw it as driven by race.

    To me ears, he clearly says “f**king goons” – ‘Goons’ being apparently the label by which local gangs were known.

    Whatever the actual merits of his case, I see it combined with the latest graphic of his nose as an orchestrated media campaign. It distracts from the core facts of the case and the huge inconsistencies in Zimmerman’s accounts.

    And by the way…
    “Their goal was simple: keep their viewers alarmed, and thus always watching, by menacing them with reprehensible series of imaginary and exaggerated …”
    I understod that this the given MSM methodology on behalf of the Department of Fear. Fox excels at it.:)

  6. I think NBC’s splicing was inappropriate but in the process inadvertently showed the truth.

    Zimmerman did falsely profile Trayvon as young Black intent on criminal activity. The true part: Trayvon was a young Black man. The false part: Trayvon was intent on criminal activity. Whether or not Zimmerman is racist, Trayvon being Black was a key part of the profile.

    It’s true that Zimmerman’s profile was raised by the NBC report and he benefit by nearly a quarter million dollars. Would his profile have been raised to the same extent if the tape had not been edited?

    “The most hated man in America” is a sobriquet that came out of the Zimmerman camp and is part of the title of the book written by his federal marshal friend.

  7. The suit is not meritorious simply because a law professor who was on Zimmerman’s side from the beginning says so. I found it quite silly to think that the whole country would be inflamed into an outrage because Zimmerman was quoted as saying “he looks Black” when within minutes of that seemingly harmless comment (in answer to a question from the dispatcher) he killed the “punk.” The reason the country (except for Alan Dershowitz, Jonathan Turley, Jeralyn Merritt and a bunch of others, among whom a certain subset of flat out racists and overdefensive guntoters figure in) was up in arms about this was Zimmerman’s deeds, not his words.

    Zimmerman’s deeds:

    1. He reported a kid as “suspicious” and then when asked why the kid was “suspicious,” couldn’t come up with anything rational.

    2. He commented, at the LEAST, “he looks like he’s up to no good,” and “he looks like he’s on drugs or something,” and “I don’t know what his thing is,” and “F*cking punks” and “Sh*t, he’s running,” and “these a55holes, they always get away.”

    3. He got out of his car to chase the kid who, he announced, “ran.”

    4. He rang off with the dispatcher while not agreeing to meet the police at any one particular spot; HE knew they were coming but he did not want to commit to where he would be found when they arrived.

    AND last but not least,

    5. He killed the kid with a hollow-point bullet to the heart. The kid was unarmed. The kid was not on drugs; he was not “up to no good”; he was not engaged in any criminal activity. Zimmerman killed him and then made up a story about having been violently — nay VICIOUSLY — assaulted and having been forced to shoot in self-defense.

    So, no, it doesn’t look like NBC caused Zimmerman’s problems. It looks like Zimmerman caused Zimmerman’s problems.

    And interestingly, Professor Turley devoted years to the effort to representing the interests of Eric Foretich, whose case is cited above. What was NOT printed in the press about Eric Foretich, but which was available (and the press protected Foretich from its becoming widely known) was the fact that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals of Virginia actually showed how much real evidence was hidden, disregarded, and just plain buried in the big struggle between the two little girls who to this day insist that he sexually molested them (his two daughters by different mothers who do not like each other and who had independent validation of their children’s injuries) and his passionate, devoted, tireless lawyers who fought every suggestion that perhaps he should NOT be allowed to continue having the little girls in his “care” and “control” any more. In fact his younger daughter, [changed name] Morgan Foretich, actually collected her half of the money Foretich won in the lawsuit he brought against ABC, but she said she did so NOT because they reported anything wrong, simply because SHE NEEDED THE MONEY FOR COLLEGE.

    Get that. Instead of suing to rescind the settlement, the “co-plaintiff” let the thing stand because it was worth $250,000 to her. I have nothing to say about that; it’s not my business. But what does it say about the way our media are allowed to report realities to our citizenry?

    Here’s a piece of information never reported to the people by the press in the Foretich case: Both of his daughters went to Mercy Hospital in Baltimore at separate times using different names and different LAST NAMES and brought by two different moms. Both had the same findings upon colposcopic exam of their genital injuries. This was never reported.

    Foretich gave up his visitation with the older daughter voluntarily because he did not want the press to get wind of the insurmountable problem this data would present to his screams and cries of “UNFAIR!”

    What did the press report to us about Zimmerman?
    Did they present him wrong? Did they defame him? Did they make him out to be a racist when he was not? Whose word do we take for any of that? His brother? His “friend” Joe Oliver who won’t answer questions? His “friend” Frank Taaffe who says “He was mad as hell and he wasn’t going to take any more”?

    Let’s see what happens with NBC. I think Zimmerman’s lawyers just brought this up now so they could publicize the picture of his bloody nose. Professor put up a picture of Zimmerman’s bloody head, in April, saying it was proof of “serious injury” and could mean Zimmerman would “walk.” In fact, Detective Serino described it as “capillary type…lacerations not coincident with” a vicious beating. So I’m voting that NBC kicks butt and perhaps collects Rule 11 sanctions for this frivolous suit. ❗

  8. Darren Smith 1, December 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    … it was the media that exaggerated the racist aspect of it.
    So, does that mean it was the racism allegation that caused him to be disliked, or was it the killing of the unarmed teen?

    Will which is more of a factor have to be proven by the plaintiff?

  9. I find this situation ironically funny. Getting worked up about a news media that continually allows politicians to make outright lies and slanders others and poor, poor Georgie Zimmerman with nobody understanding the nobility of his killing.
    Sometime the best defense is a good offense and this is what this lawsuit is all about.

  10. Think about how GZ would be regarded if NBC had stuck to the truth, the whole truth, not a word slanted about the whole truth, and nothing but the whole absolute and total truthiest truth in the world:

    They would have printed the entire NEN.


    Also, think about how the public perception of GZ would have been different if NBC said: “Zimmerman called the NEN number and said, ‘he looks like he’s up to no good,’ not volunteering the race of the ‘real suspicious guy.’ Later, in the conversation, Zimmerman exclaimed, ‘F*cking punks!’ under his breath. It turned out later that Trayvon Martin was an African American. Zimmerman appeared to not be quite sure about that early in the conversation.”

    Then, presumably, nobody in our great country would have hated Zimmerman OR presumed that he was racist. After all, he would have killed an innocent kid who, he thought, could have been white — for a minute or so before Zimmerman stepped out of his car to pursue the kid.

    Yeah, that makes sense. Until he became SURE that Trayvon Martin was Black, he did not get out of the truck with his loaded gun, did he?

    Burn the village to save the village? The village did not need to be either burned or saved. The information generated by the NBC broadcast was neither untrue nor damaging. If you call someone a “punk” and then kill them, it is not any better than if you call them a “coon” and then kill them. If you kill them and shouldn’t have, you’ve got a credibility problem when you scream about being talked about bad.

  11. nick, My point is that NBC should have used more care in editing the tape but Zimmerman has benefited more than hurt by it.

    The brouhaha was because the man who followed an unarmed youth that he then shot and killed was not charged with a crime. Trayvon WAS profiled and the fact that he was Black was an important part of the profile.

    Zimmerman has been hurt more by his own accounts (there are several variation) and by those of his friends, as well as the forensics.

  12. Actually it is about a man getting a fair trial and citizens being able to be free of receiving a possible lifetime of scorn on a national level for something that has not yet been proven via a conviction.

    Making him out to be motivated by racist agenda can cause him difficulty in receiving an impartial jury.

    Put your preconceptions aside and put yourselves into such a position. How do you think your reputation would survive if a news medium did the same misquotation and misrepresentation on something you reported to the police and consequently were labelled as having racist intentions?

    Not an issue? Well let’s look at this conversely. Inflaming the public with something as charged as racism does manipulate juries and due process. Take a situation where a jury has a racist disposition in their minds when they try a defendant. It clouds their judgement of the facts at times. How many minorities have in the past have been unjustifiably convicted (for example a black man in the 1950’s accused of raping a girl and sent to a speedy death sentence because of hatred for his race by the locals) or alternatively a white man acquitted of a lynching of a black man because the good old boy white jury gladly nullified the case. Racism plays a dual role in these examples.

    Sadly this has / does happen. Can you see why his or anyone’s defense team and hopefully the judge in the case does not want to see racism taint the proceedings?

    Try calling someone a child molester, even if they are not, and see how long that person has to live with the suspicion carried by others. If our Professor or the others have defended those who many elements of society deems to be pariahs GOOD FOR THEM. Every person within the jurisdiction of the United States (and I would hope the rest of the world) deserves to have a capable and dedicated defense advocate. Because that Pariah just might happen one day to be YOU after someone or some flash social media mob paints a scarlet letter on your forehead and you are in the same boat. And if you wanted to save your own skin, your last line of defense is going to be that lawyer who is brave enough to defend you despite what others might say or even link them to being a evil doer because they had the audacity to stand up for you.

    On a side note I know that there are a lot of stong feelings on what many regard as the shortcomings of the legal system or the stand your ground law that might be offered as a defense in the Zimmerman case, but Zimmerman is just one person who should not be burdened with being the scapegoat and focus for all of societies ill hatred for those types of law. He is just one person. His failings, whatever the trial might hold true, should be limited to his acts or omissions, he should not be held accountable for the actions of the Florida state legislature who crafted a law so many object to.

  13. The defense has been working on the jury pool. They need only one person to believe that Zimmerman was justified in killing the [punk, coon, goon].

  14. If he’s convicted, I wonder if the state’s “Son of Sam” law will prevent or impair any recovery Zimmerman could make.

  15. bettkath, I agree NBC should have been more careful in their editing. I edited videotape many times for court. I would NEVER edit out exculpatory evidence nor would I try to even subtlely make it better for my client. I would alway have the raw footage marked and presented as evidence. After many years, even the most skeptical plaintiff’s attorneys[opposing counsel] knew I was fair and honorable in editing. The question won’t be was NBC careful. That’s something I believe they will stipulate to. The question will be was NBC willfull in their editing in an attempt to gain ratings and profit. It will be tough to prove that, I believe. But, I defer to the practicing attorneys here on that.

  16. yea, well George called Trayvon “a punk” “up to no good” and then killed him.

    George lived through his pathetic ordeal of being called a racist.
    I just think he is a liar and a sociopath.

  17. Hello friends,
    The first thing that leaps out, how do we know the impact this segment had upon Mr. Zimmerman and the case? How does one quantify this exposure?

    We are being asked to quantify damages based on a future potential.
    I don’t start my world view about Zimmerman based on NBC and even with the adjusted audio, which was also available on many other networks, I haven’t changed my initial impressions of his actions and mental state before killing Trayvon Martin.

    The jury would have to decide that NBC was in some way responsible by guessing at how the audience interpreted their segment of course, but not being a lawyer, that opening comment about WHY NBC did this is likely not something a lawyer could prove to me. Unless they exposed communications where someone suggested, even if subconsciously, to portray him as a racist, the way we KNOW that FoxNews does about leaning on the news, then they have a case. Otherwise, as a juror, I’d be very quick to say, “nope, didn’t have an effect upon your reputation. Your reputation is based on your deeds themselves”

    Thanks for background though on ‘limited public figure’ and tying this together for us.

  18. When everybody is ´”wrong”, then whom do we blame? Florida for its gun’totin’ SYG laws? Trayvon for not being white? NBC for exercising the media prerogative to “pump” a story? George Z for killing a boy? Us for creating this EFFing mess?

    I’d say it was the loose cannon who should not have pursued when told NOT to do so by the NEN, and who pulled his gun and shot. In a hurry he was too.

    But maybe we should also hang our heads too. We’ll be doing “life” as long as we keep this mess.

  19. bettykath,

    “Zimmerman did falsely profile Trayvon as young Black intent on criminal activity. The true part: Trayvon was a young Black man. The false part: Trayvon was intent on criminal activity. Whether or not Zimmerman is racist, Trayvon being Black was a key part of the profile.”

    “Trayvon WAS profiled and the fact that he was Black was an important part of the profile.”

    You sure do claim to know a lot about Zimmerman’s mental state. Maybe you could serve as a key witness for the prosecution? Oh wait, there is something called the rules of evidence that generally require a witness to have personal knowledge of what he/she is testifying to.

    For the sake of the system, you and Malisha should be forever forgiven of your civic duty to serve as jurors.

    I, for one, have not been brainwashed by the media (or my own biases) and will reserve judgment until all of the facts come out.

  20. Zimmerman’s story has some real problems with it, but I’m more interested in what the forensics will show in final presentation. Specifically I’m interested in what the final results prosecution will use regarding powder burns. If Martin was far enough away from Zimmerman not to get powder burns, it certainly crimps the self-defense angle.



    I wonder about that as well, but I think it’s a moot point because like the Prof I think he’s likely to be found a limited public figure due in no small part to the image control efforts by his family and council. I don’t think he’ll get anything from the network. The new suspect photo and the civil suit seemed designed for one thing to me and that’s to create reasonable doubt in the jury pool.

  21. Mespo,

    There is nothing in the complaint that says what law applies. But does Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994) address this?

    “Thus, when a state prisoner seeks damages in a § 1983 suit, the district court must consider whether a judgment in favor of the plaintiff would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction or sentence; if it would, the complaint must be dismissed unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the conviction or sentence has already been invalidated. But if the district court determines that the plaintiff’s action, even if successful, will not demonstrate the invalidity of any outstanding criminal judgment against the plaintiff, the action should be allowed to proceed,[7] in the absence of some other bar to the suit.[8]”

    Considering the length of time it takes for trial preparation and the relevance of Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence, isn’t it likely that Zimmerman’s criminal trial will precede the civil trial?

    I have been frequently the Frederick Leatherman blog and some of my comments are derived from his postings. I don’t stick around that blog much anymore b/c of the rantings of some of the posters, but Leatherman, and occasionally a poster, have some thoughts worth considering.

  22. It’s more ‘Zimmerman did falsely profile Trayvon as a person intent on criminal activity’
    He referred in the course of the NEN call to “punks” (who always get away), and “f**king goons”. The clear implication is that he considered Martin to be a member of a grouping that he described as punks and goons – Goons being the name for the local gangs.

    Being young and black plus wearing a hoodie was part of the profile of the punks/goons.
    Black is just part of the profile, and not *the* profile.
    It’s a simple as that.

    What’s all this about Zimmermans team submitting, as material for this case against NBC, a recording of the NEN call in which Zimmerman saying “F**king goons” has been edited out?

  23. A bit less on Anthony, nick. Most of the coverage there was about the outrageous and biased media coverage provided by the likes of Nancy Grace. I think Zimmerman/Martin got a little more traction because it smelled fishy from the get go with the foot dragging on charging Zimmerman.

  24. Thanks, Gene. I don’t follow these trials very much but it has become a national pastime. Nancy Grace..just her face, turns my stomach.

  25. Juris, you have gone a long way with a small piece of data, when you conclude that neither I nor BettyKath should ever serve as jurors. I have said about a dozen times on various threads on this very blog that I am writing from the position of a person who could never serve as a juror on this case because I have formed a very firm opinion that Zimmerman is guilty of murder. I SAID THAT because there is room in our legal system for a prospective juror to disqualify himself or herself on the basis of “prejudgment” which would be called “prejudice” and for very good reason.

    I have already come to the conclusion that George is guilty. That does not mean that, in another case, I would not serve as a perfectly good unprejudiced juror. I consider your conclusion illogical and peculiar.

    Let’s look at what convinced me that George is guilty of Murder-2, so that I would have to disqualify myself from judging him in a criminal trial.

    1. HE said that Trayvon Martin was a “real suspicious guy” in the NEN call. He had no rational basis for that belief.

    2. HE said “f*cking punks” on that call. No rational basis for that insult.

    3. HE got out of his truck and then said his purpose was to find an address!

    4. The address would not help anyone because “the suspect” was gone.

    5. HE then called Trayvon Martin “the suspect” 18 times in his written statement he made. AND last but not least,

    6. His injuries do NOT match the silly story he told about being attacked.

    So yes, my mind is made up about Zimmerman. And yes, I would disqualify myself from his jury. But no, what you concluded was not logical and not, in my opinion, appropriate. But I don’t need an apology. I’m not proud of myself for being right all the time; I’m just proud of myself for being smart and tough and damn good-looking. :mrgreen:

  26. nick,

    You’ll get little disagreement about Nancy (dis)Grace from me or most of the posters here. I’d call her a swine but that gives a bad name to pork chops. I quit watching CNN altogether shortly after they hired her. I never thought I’d miss “The News According to Ted Turner” but at least he’d have never hired a National Enquirer reject like her.

  27. “The new suspect photo and the civil suit seemed designed for one thing to me and that’s to create reasonable doubt in the jury pool.”


    That’s the ticket.

  28. “The new suspect photo and the civil suit seemed designed for one thing to me and that’s to create reasonable doubt in the jury pool.”

    More unreasonable doubt really:)

    The argument from the defence is aimed at the emotions.
    Even our Prof seems a tad suckered by this.
    Somehow the sight of bleeding and puffy nose in full colour is meant to be a slam-dunk justification of shooting.
    It distracts from the objective facts that timelines and timestamps of calls put a lie to Zimmerman’s accounts.

    He had a wtf scary moment when “the punk”, instead of “always getting away”, walked right by his truck and eyeballed him.
    The “Sh*t, he’s running” triggered the hunt instinct. He channelled what Frank Taffe described “He’d had enough and he wasn’t going to take any more”.
    He lost it.
    He went after Martin into the dark cenrtral pathway area.

    Then –
    After he finished the NEN call, he went searching for Martin and found him 2 minutes later.

    Either that or he just stood there for 2 minutes.
    In his Walk-through he says that he started for his truck immediately the NEN call ended.
    In the NEN he ends the call by changing the agreement to meet at the truck/mailboxes to one of the patrol ringing him to find out where he might be.
    It took him 20 seconds to get from there to the ‘attack’ location in the walk-through.

    If a jury sees him trying to explain the actual timeline v. his accounts, no amount of blood photos should sway a reasonable jury.

  29. Mikes, That was a great post. I’m sure it portrays what was going on here during that time. My wife is embarassed by this but being secure in her sanity, allows me to relate this story. She is a scrapbooker, and unlike NBC, did not edit out this episode in our family life. During the OJ trial we took a trip to Palm Springs and Santa Monica. We met some friends in Palm Springs for a few days and then spent 3 days in Santa Monica. On a Sunday morning we took the kids on a drive through LA. We went down Sunset Blvd., Santa Monica Blvd., thru the UCLA campus, etc. Out of the blue, my very common sense wife, our navigator[this was way before GPS] said, we’re not far from the Bundy address. Our kids were old enough to understand the significance. She said, “let’s drive by.” I said “WTF”, it was Sunday morning and traffic was light. We got to the infamous condo and there were ~3-4 other folks just walking around sort of sheepishly. Well, my wife just marched up and started shooting photos of the murder scene. She was perched on the gate shooting inside where we all knew the bodies were found. Myself and our 2 kids stood back bemused and a bit bewildered. Our Federal probation wife/mother was now an Enquirer papparazzi! We all have rogue, darkness, etc. in us. Her “dark side” is in one of our NUMEROUS family albums. I love the fact she didn’t edit that out…I love the dark side.

  30. Mike : “The distinction is that were the media ot involved in Zimmerman there never would have been a trial.”

    Media involvement to trigger a trial isn’t the problem
    The problem is that it took that for the case to get some proper investigation.

    I’ve gone through the timelines in great detail.
    The geography/maths/physics indicate that Zimmerman has to be lying about his movements – and that he went hunting for Martin.
    At the very least, he should be up on manslaughter charges.

  31. Juris,

    Malisha is right. I would disqualify myself from THIS jury b/c I’ve looked at most of the content of the evidence dumps and I’ve made up my mind. imo, GZ is lying sociopath who is guilty of 2nd degree murder – all elements for that charge being available. But I don’t live in Florida, so I’m not a candidate for it anyway.

    I’m glad you haven’t been brainwashed by MSM, but neither have we as you passively aggressively suggest. Malisha, Sling, and I have looked at the evidence provided by the prosecution as required by Federal law and ordered by the judge. You might want to check it out and then judge us less harshly.

    Nothing related to this case suggests that I would not be an acceptable juror on another trial.

    There have been a couple of trials for which I wouldn’t have been a juror. One involved an arson where my aunt survived b/c the fire station was 1/2 block from her apartment and a firefighter took her down the fire escape. Her son and my brother saw evidence of accelerant when they recovered her “stuff”. I was actually called for that jury but they got 12 plus without my having to decline to serve. The defendant was found guilty and is in prison. The other was a neighbor who beat his wife to unrecognizably. I knew him enough to know that he was a misogynous control freak. He gave me the creeps when I ran into him at the post office. He’s in prison serving at least 20 years.

  32. Juris has done it all over himself again. That was an opinion. Remember that Juris.
    Malisha and BK come out with opinions, not testimony. Nor are they planning on being called for jury duty in his trial.
    Opinions on whatever are their prerogative at a free speech site.
    That you can call them out for proof is one thing, but implying more than that and impugning them is a “bad”, IMO.
    Hope you can differentiate and not befoul the air more, by playing lawyer.
    Why do I come after you? Because you want to deter others with opinions differing from yours, IMO. A no-no in my world, even if it is Obama who does it.

    Hope that met the conditions of civility. 😉

  33. JT: You must be up late when you write these articles. You dare question Zimmerman’s right to sue these astardBays who promoted the prosecution of him by lying about his statements and twisting them. all on national tv. The local jerks prosecuted him because of this pressure. NBC needs to go off the air and take a breath of fresh air instead of the sewage they inbible.

  34. Ralph,

    Since you bring up your wife and the OJ case. At the time of the case I was a Deputy Director over the Facilities Section of NYC’s homeless shelter system. They were spinning it off into a separate Agency and the Mother Agency didn’t want to lose me. I literally had nothing to do for the entire OJ trial other than sit in the office of another director in a similar position, who had a TV. This took place over about six months while the parent Agency reorganized and found a place for me. I watched the entire trial on TV. At its end I was strongly in favor of OJ being acquitted, not because of his innocence, but because the prosecution was so inept they did’t make a solid case. For instance their timeline was screwed up and Mark Fuhrman was a disastrous witness. When he was acquitted I wasn’t shocked by the acquittal, but by the fact that the jury got it right. As to OJ’s guilt my own theory was that it was all about a coke deal gone bad, which he was fronting, but which his wife was involved in. He was guilty of something, but they simply didn’t prove it. That case spurred my interest in the whole subject of trial by publicity which I think is a detriment to our legal system.

  35. MikeS, No apology needed. As I always told the kids I coached, we’re all human and we all make errors. Although Joe “Fatso” Foy made more than his share. However, since he was big as 2 men…maybe it was justifed.

  36. JoeBob says: “NBC needs to go off the air and take a breath of fresh air instead of the sewage they inbible.”

    I want to thank JoeBob for the word “inbible.” In fact I had never thought up that word and right here and now I castigate myself for having failed to coin it. It means: “Justifying something ridiculous because some support for it can more or less be found in the Bible.” In that regard, I will advise you of the following:

    What George Zimmerman did to Trayvon Martin can be found in the Bible:

    They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

    And thus I guess it’s OK and damn NBC to Hell for departing from that word.

  37. Malisha you must know Trayvon was not some child, he was a (black) thug.
    He had a empty plastic bag so he was a junkie.
    He hit George with MMA style karate chops with his certified deadly weapon hands.
    As every thread on any discussion of this case would show.

  38. Oh, oops 😳 Shano, I got the wrong passage. So you say Zimmerman had to smite Trayvon because Trayvon was fighting against him? OK, the Bible has that one covered too:

    Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    Coowul. 😎

  39. Juris, something really bothered me about your initial post to BettyKath, and it wasn’t about either of us serving as jurors. Now I went back and found it. You said, sarcastically:

    “You sure do claim to know a lot about Zimmerman’s mental state. Maybe you could serve as a key witness for the prosecution?”

    First of all, we do know a lot about Zimmerman’s mental state. Why? Because he revealed it. And he revealed it well before NBC’s allegedly tortious broadcast.

    1. He said to Sean on the NEN call: “There’s been a lot of break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy…”

    His mental state at that time was VERY suspicious and quite officious.

    2. He said to Sean on the NEN call: “These a55holes, they always get away.”

    His mental state at that time was VERY accusatory and also very eager to apprehend and punish the “a55hole.” So add in disdainful, contemptuous, and authoritarian. HE will prevent the a55hole from getting away, this time.

    3. He admits to saying, while on the phone with Sean on the NEN call: “F*cking punks.”

    His mental state at the time was hostile, angry, and belligerent.

    4. He says to Sean on the NEN call: “Sh*t, he’s running.”

    His mental state at the time was disappointed and indignant.

    5. He asks Singleton as he is waiting for the voice-stress analyst to administer the test he has requested whether she has ever “had to shoot somebody” and when she says she has NOT, he comments that probably nobody would question her authority.

    His mental state at the time shows a sense of frustration that he had to kill somebody because they questioned his authority.

    6. He writes out his statement to the police on 2/26/2012 blaming it all on the deceased Trayvon Martin who, he says, tried to kill him and “assured [him]” that he would die that night. He calls Trayvon Martin “the suspect” throughout his written narrative.

    His mental state at the time shows that he believes Trayvon Martin was the person who should be in trouble with the police; Trayvon Martin was still “the suspect” even after it was discovered that the boy was unarmed. His initial decision to mark Martin as a criminal has not changed.

    So we do know quite a bit about George Zimmerman’s mental state.

    But since Trayvon Martin was not given a chance to tape record his comments about the encounter, we know less about his mental state. As little as we know about Trayvon Martin’s mental state, however, we can guess that he was scared because George Zimmerman said, “Sh*t, he’s running” and later, “He ran.”

    Yet — here’s where it gets good, Juris — when Hannity asks George Zimmerman if he thought Trayvon Martin was running away from him in fear, George claims to know, as you put it, “a lot about [Trayvon Martin]’s mental state.” George calmly announces that Trayvon Martin was NOT running from him in fear. Not at all.

    So George is now attributing a vicious attack by Trayvon Martin upon the innocent “not following” George to something OTHER than fear. George declares that Trayvon was not feeling fear. “Sh*t, he’s running” becomes “skipping.” Now Trayvon Martin is a fearless, homicidal thug. To paraphrase Serino, what would make Trayvon attack George?

    George, who professes to know Trayvon Martin’s mental state at the time of the not-following incident, must believe that it was only evil, only wickedness, only badness, that made this particular person (of any race but it just so happens that he was of the African American race) attack George, since it surely wasn’t fear.

    So Zimmerman attributes badness and wrongness to Trayvon. Whom he kills. But we should not be so presumptuous as to attribute badness and wrongness to Zimmerman because, after all, we cannot know what his mental state was, can we?

    No, Juris. I could never serve on George Zimmerman’s jury. But I can judge him. And if NBC is guilty of not being totally fair to George, which I do not concede by the way, that guilt is as a drop in the ocean compared to the guilt of a man who would stroke his own ego by targeting, chasing, terrifying and killing a kid, and then lying about him and attributing evil acts to him post mortem. And I condemn every cell in Zimmerman’s body and every spark of each and every neuron in his brain and every thought and feeling in his mind and I will forever, and I do it because HE has told me who he is. HE has told me in a way that his distorted self-serving story-telling cannot cover up.

  40. “which I do not concede by the way, that guilt is as a drop in the ocean compared to the guilt of a man who would stroke his own ego by targeting, chasing, terrifying and killing a kid, and then lying about him and attributing evil acts to him post mortem.” Semantically, all these words drip bias, laden with emotion and judgement. Judgement’s fine, the use of emotionally laden words isn’t. Emotionally laden words are used to justify the judgement, post fact. You have no idea that M was terrified, no idea that Z was stroking his ego at the time, or that any “lying” took place.”Rashomon” for reference, facts and truth by perspective.

    (An aside on how words turn facts to shit, from which shit truth is derived: Z didn’t “chase” nor did he “stalk”, the usual twist; he followed. No emotional satisfaction there I admit. And, allegedly, stopped at one point and turned back.)

    As for reading the prosecution’s evidence and thus determining guilt, I’d direct you to the Innocence Project, Duke Lacrosse (have those 88 prejudiced, non-thinking, but well-educated morons ever apologized? Education does not confer wisdom, only knowledge obviously), or any other cases where the prosecution’s evidence lacked?

    I’ve been neutral on this across a lot of comment sections, which means I’m pro-Z or anti-Z depending on the bent of the commenters. It all goes down to who was the aggressor: If Z, may he rot in jail; if M, then we are left with was Z’s force justifiable? Could he have escaped? Did Martin pull at the gun (a defense used often by LEO’s, and seldom questioned)? Was Z so in fear for safety and life that the use of a gun was justified? I’ll leave that to the court by evidence presented by both prosecution and defense.

    Finally, OT. The press presentation of M by a picture of him at twelve set my alarms off immediately (reverse it with a picture of Z at 12 and M at 17). Follow that with an edited tape that clearly is prejudiced against Z because it is what didn’t happen but also directs you to a conclusion that isn’t there, how can you deny that NBC didn’t manipulate you for it’s own purpose? There were multiple people involved in that edit, all the way to air time.

    By chronology, I’ll give this to Z. You can’t say after he is convicted (that’s my actual bent on this, but I try to remain objective) that therefore “the fake but true” is OK. It isn’t, it was prejudicial, and it was likely purposeful.

    I will give that NBC may have a lot of people that don’t understand editing out whole sections of a recording constitutes lying. If so, why would I listen to NBC? More rhetorical than anything else the fallacy nazi may come up with by opportunity.

  41. Zimmerman should be awarded a medal of honor for shooting his assailant. NBC contrives all these lies and the prosecutor swallows them. The prosecutor needs an award for first place in the pig shit swallowing contest.
    Dismiss this criminal case, fire the prosecutor, and get on with jury selection in the case against NBC.

  42. Ariel: “It all goes down to who was the aggressor”

    Define “agressor”.

    Is it the first to actually strike the other?
    Is it the first to put their hand on the other’s arm to restrain them?
    Is it the first person to speak in an agressive tone?
    Is is the person who pushed someone who was blocking their path?
    Is it the person who followed the other into the dark? – who made them feel under threat in a dark place?

    The Zimmerman camp want “aggressor” to be the person who got nothing more than a scratch on one finger in the course of a struggle that lasted more than 50 seconds and possible 60 – while the other party got a bloody nose and two minor cuts on the back of his head.
    They want “aggressor” to be the person that a witness identified as being on top for the few seconds during which he observed them.

    It’s not that simple.
    Zimmerman knew that straight away.
    NEN Call: “He’s running” – “He ran”
    NEN Call: “Are you following him?” – “Yeah” – “We don’t need you to do that”
    Within days, this became his brother’s: “He did not follow Mr Martin. He was just going in the same direction”

    O’Mara knows it too. He had plenty of time to consider the story to tell before the Hannity interview: “He was not running – and certainly not in fear.” – I was not following him. I was going in the same direction.

    O’Mara does not want following.
    O’Mara does not want Martin fearful or worried by Zimmerman.
    O’Mara does not want Martin running.
    Following into the dark – instilling fear/concern – would make Zimmerman the aggressor.

    Then there’s the lies by Zimmerman.
    His accounts can’t be made to fit the timeline set by timestamps and content of recorded calls. Only cherry-picking works. A continuous timeline does not work.
    Damming for Zimmerman is the 3 minutes from the end of his NEN call to the shot. His walk from where he says the call ended to where he says he was attacked took him 20 seconds in the Walk-through.

    In the Walk-through, he says that he ended the call by suggesting to the dispatcher that he meet the incoming patrol at the mailboxes. He says that he started walking back immediately.
    He forgot than in the NEN recording, it is the dispatcher who suggests the meet at the mailboxes. Zimmerman agrees to this. Then — at the last second. he breaks in over the dispatcher to change the plan to one of the patrol ringing Zimmerman when they arrive so that Zimmerman can tell them where he’s at.
    Then he has no explanation for the next 2 minutes+ other than walking for 20 to 30 seconds.

    Zimmerman supporters trumpet a “right by his father’s house” from DD’s interview to ‘prove’ that Martin first ran home and then ran back to attack Zimmerman.
    They don’t volunteer to explain how Martin would have known where Zimmerman was or why Zimmerman was still at the T-junction 1.5 minutes after he passed it if one accepts his ‘retuning to the truck immediately after the NEN call’ story.
    They don’t offer to explain why John’s witness sketch puts the pair 70 feet South of where Zimmerman says Marin punched and decked him.
    The body ended up 10 feet North of that.

    If they assign any credibility to DD’s interview, then they have to live with all of the interview. That has Martin in fear of Zimmerman, thinking he had shaken him off, and then Zimmerman closing on him.

    Even without relying on DD, there is enough for any reasonable person to judge that Zimmerman’s account of the events leading up to the struggle do not stand up.

    Zimmerman supporters say that following Martin, and even approaching him was not illegal.
    This is where the Reasonable Person consideration comes in.
    Zimmerman claims that Martin circled the truck in a threatening manner.
    Getting out and following/same-direction into a dark area when he had lost sight of Martin was a very reckless and unreasonable action in the circumstances. He could well have found himself suddenly face-to-face in the dark with the thug who had threatened him
    It would be so for any person, but it’s worse for Zimmerman as a NW ‘captain’.
    Police NW coordinator says that Zimmerman was at a presentation at which she emphasised ‘observe from a safe distance’, ‘do not approach’. She says she even has a special slide for that emphasis.
    Zimmerman went into a dark place on the hells of a ‘thug’ who had actually threatened him – as opposed to someone who he had secretly observed.
    He would also have been aware of the ‘no weapons’ rule.

    I wonder if O’Mara’s ‘no plea bargain’ is just poker-playing up to the wire.

  43. JoeBob,
    Just as bad as the side that has convicted Z before trial, with all that prosecutorial evidence securing guilt since that’s all that’s needed to determine guilt.

    As for NBC, the editing of the 911 call raises real questions about their commitment to fact or truth.

  44. Following up on the following thing …. duh!

    The Walk-through video illustrates Zimmerman’s awareness that following Martin was something that would have a negative impact.

    Right from the start of his walk-through description of his conversation with the dispatcher, he claims that the dispatcher was asking him to get to a place where he could see Martin. It seems that poor Zimmerman was constantly nagged and instructed to search out Martin.
    Zimmerman supporters echo this. They point to: “He’s running? Which way is he running?”
    Zimmerman answered the question – “Down towards the back entrance”.
    That was it. Job done.
    There was absolutely no request for further information.
    The clear opposite happened. “Are you following him?” – “Yeah” – We don’t need you to do that.”

  45. Screw the media. They are just honchos making money for their corp owners. This is just a plot by Z’s team to move the attention away from the evidence as drawn by Sling Trebuchet.

    Z. was a murderer looking for a victim to slay. He did it stupidly, gave testimony in the first recorded interview so that his lieing nature and behaviour shines clearly. The testimony is not the one given by an accused searching for good recall, it is instead of a slow thinker who looks for a lie that he can use, and not recalling all that he said to NEN.
    That is my opinion after listening to the audio of it.

    He is a pathological liar, used to fooling fools, but not pro cops who are following investigative routine. Something he almost escaped from.

  46. “The clear opposite happened. “Are you following him?” – “Yeah” – We don’t need you to do that.”

    I have to admit, I always do what I’m told, even if it’s only suggested. If I don’t it’s proof I have some nefarious intention.

    I did a 911 call where I was asked to follow at a safe distance until police arrived. If the 911 responder had said “don’t” I would have ignored (911 responders are not necessarily police, nor do they have the authority of police). In my case, this guy was driving up on the sidewalk to block a woman, who then went around his car to walk on. Wash, rinse, repeat, for blocks (Cave Creek Road in Phoenix, near Sonny Barger’s Harley shop). I would have followed no matter what until police arrived.

  47. “…I was asked to follow at a safe distance until police arrived…… I would have followed no matter what until police arrived.”

    Presumably, you would have followed at a safe distance.
    How would you be able to maintain a safe distance?
    Easy if you can see the guy at all times.

    What if he disappeared from your sight down a dark walkway.
    Bear in mind that this guy – who looks like he’s up to no good – on drugs or something – has just circled your truck in a threatening manner – with the position of his hand on his waistband suggesting a weapon.

    Now you can’t see him. He’s sort of skipped – and definitely not in fear – around a corner. It’s really dark down there. No public lighting.
    Given that he’s just threatened you and provoked you, he might well be lying in wait for you just around the corner. He did after all threaten you.

    So…… despite having no idea where he actually is, you walk straight at the corner that he has just turned.
    You have no idea where this threatening thug actually is.
    You could come face to face with him suddenly.

    Very clearly, this is not “from a safe distance”
    You would have done that?

  48. Idealist707,
    “Z. was a murderer looking for a victim to slay”. Really? I can think of two movies that describe your take: “The Ox-Bow Incident” and “12 Angry Men”. Henry Fonda was in both, but that’s incidental. He funded the latter movie, lost money on it, yet today it’s a classic. And a good example of art as instruction.

    Don’t do what lynch mobs have done in the US since the 1870s: “knowing” without a true examination of the facts and hanging accordingly; the court of public opinion doesn’t meet the criteria of examination but people have hanged for it. You have nothing but reporting to go by or what some have claimed as proof: what the prosecution wrote to justify charges. Neither are unbiased.

    Please, this way of thinking should have ended long ago. Neither you nor I know Z’s mind or M’s at the time, nor do either of us know what is a lie or what isn’t in this case. Don’t ever let emotions or prejudice override reason in this arena. We all fail at some time with emotion overcoming reason, but please not here. I’m not pleading for Z (I’ve already given my opinion), but for reasoned justice. Let the Prosecutor and the Defense argue this in Court (if I capitalize anymore nouns I’m going for German in the next round).

  49. Ariel,

    Your words could be rewritten as
    ‘Just as bad as the side that has found Z innocent before trial, with all that exculpatory evidence securing innocence since that’s all that’s needed to determineinnocence.’

    Someone might say that it is not a valid parallel, as there is a presumption of innocence.
    In a straightforward classic killing case, this might be true.
    This is not such a case.

    In order for Zimmerman’s to be innocent, Martin has to be guilty of committing an unprovoked assault so violent that Zimmerman feared for his life.

    To presume Zimmerman to be innocent is – in this particular case – to presume Martin to be guilty.

  50. Sling Trebuchet,

    Yes, “what if”. All sort’s of things are made from “what if”. Your entire post was a “what if”. I won’t hang a guy for a “what if”. I won’t even assume that my “what if” has anything to do with “what happened”.

    Nice writing, though, you must watch “Castle” and identify with Nathan Fillion (isn’t he funny). OK, that was condescending, but you were writing a fictional piece and thinking it was in some way a real argument.

    Personally, If I have to go into crime fiction I like Bogart’s Sam Spade, or almost any portrayal of Philip Marlowe (best detective ever, uh huh). Powers Boothe did a good job. Maybe Lew Archer is is there with Spade and Marlowe. You decide.

    As for my experience, pushing it into the “what if” just leaves me with crime fiction. I think of Dashiell Hammett.

  51. JoeBob, you say: “The prosecutor needs an award for first place in the pig shit swallowing contest.”

    My question is this: How did your post, which contained the words “pig shit,” get through moderation? This is a test.

  52. Ariel,

    I have no problem with your reasoning, such as in your latest comment (with Fonda etc). But the posse mentality was not what I was endorsing either.
    It was a way of saying my opinion, he was and is a sick guy. And Martin’s life was taken. Hopefully the trial will provide a full exposure of the facts with time lines and cross examination of the type which Sling Trebuchet appears to master, see example of what are the indications of safe distance, and Z’s claimed actions.

    He knew the kid was unarmed, the waistband comment was BS, just to prepare for his “shootout”. He’d rehearsed this many times in his daydreams. Too bad there were no witnesses, but that was part of the plan.

    He did all the things that he was told not to do, and thought that he would get away with it.. They let him keep his gun and go free. Jeeezus, what a police department.

    The only good thing is that he finally got charged. Not much chance that he dares a repeat.

  53. Oh, I see that “shit” has cleared the moderator. OK, then, on to substance.

    We can dispense with the question of whether or not it was OK for George Zimmerman to follow Trayvon Martin. He did in fact follow Trayvon Martin. When he learned that it was going to be an “uh oh” kind of thing (which I think happened in the squad car on the way in to the station house, thanks to Tim Smith) he quickly changed his narrative to say that he was not actually “following” but in fact he was just checking for a house number, which he thought would mean that he could be exonerated.

    It would have worked if not for the publicity that followed. There’s that “following” again, huh?

    So what we have is: Pro-Zims say it was perfectly all right, and in fact it was noble and good and righteous and white, for Zimmerman to follow the possibly evil Martin.

    Anti-Zims say, at the same time, that he should have gone back to his truck and NOT FOLLOWED.

    He says, now, that he was trying to do that but less than a minute after he hung up with Dispatch, he was viciously attacked by Martin and had to kill him.

    Here’s the issue: Whether or not he SHOULD have followed Martin, and whether or not in his own mind he WAS following or whether, perhaps, in his mind he was NOT FOLLOWING Trayvon Martin, at the moment that the two faced each other, HE CLAIMS Trayvon Martin said, “What the f*ck’s your problem, homie?” or, in the alternative, “What’s your problem?”

    At that point in time he is admitting that Trayvon Martin expresses the thought that George Zimmerman is doing something problematic.

    It’s not about us attributing bad motives to Zimmerman; it’s about Zimmerman attributing bad motives to Martin.

    If Martin had said either of the two phrases George suggests, it was possible for George to use the next seven seconds (the time it takes to answer, “Hey man I don’t have a problem” and to hear “Now you got a problem”) to say, “I’m with the Neighborhood Watch.”

    George admits that he did not say that.

    Trayvon Martin was then, obviously, well within his rights to assume that George Zimmerman was following him to do him harm.

    Trayvon Martin therefore had every right to defend himself. If he did, the reason his attempt at self-defense was not successful was that George was armed with a loaded gun. If he didn’t, then the reason he was killed was that George killed him for some reason other than self-defense as defined by law. Because George was the aggressor and Trayvon Martin had a right to assume that he was in danger of great bodily harm or death. (That was proven on the scene.)

    I would love for somebody to sue Corey for prosecuting George. JoeBob, why don’t you get an organization together and hire a lawyer to do that. The statute to use is 42 USC Section 1983. Ask for attorneys’ fees under 42 USC Section 1988 at the same time; that way the attorneys can be compensated after it’s over.
    :mrgreen: 😛 🙄

  54. Ariel,
    “Neither you nor I know Z’s mind or M’s at the time, nor do either of us know what is a lie or what isn’t in this case. ”

    We sure do have some pointers though. What was in Z’s mind is reflected in his NEN call. Every statement by Zimmerman starts with “there’ve been a lot of break-ins in my neighborhood. So a kid staying in the neighborhood, one in which Z says he knows everyone, is profiled. Trayvon is a thug “up to no good or he’s on drugs or somethin”. He’s one those “a55holes [who] always get away”, a f[x]ckin’ [punk, coon, goon]. Black youth “in his late teens” is part of the profile b/c other black youth have been seen in the neighborhood and accused of break-ins.

    What’s in his mind is continued after the shooting when he writes up his statement at the SPD station house that same night and he calls his victim “the suspect” multiple times. Normally, a suspect is one who is suspected of committing a specific crime, but Trayvon did nothing illegal and there were no open cases in the area.

    In Zimmerman’s mind he followed,,, uh, went in the same direction as one of those “a55holes [who] always get away” He’s going to do the job that the cops have been unable to do, this a55hole isn’t going to get away.

    What we know of Trayvon’s mind at the time we know from the account of DeeDee who was on the phone with him most of that time. He told her of the creepy guy following him. He thought he lost him. Now the creepy guy is back.

    There are no reports whatever of Trayvon being violent. Otoh, there are multiple reports of Zimmerman being violent (throwing a woman across a room when he was a bouncer at an illegal party, attacking a plainclothed officer attempting an arrest, and others).

    As to what’s a lie and what isn’t, well, maybe Zimmerman isn’t lying. Maybe basic physics re: time and space were suspended for him. His account leaves a couple of minutes unaccounted for, his actions that he says the dispatcher asked him to do but the dispatcher didn’t, that his story has the altercation 40 some feet from where Trayvon’s body was found, that his story of spreading Trayvon’s hands doesn’t account for Trayvon’s hands being found under his body, that Z’s injuries are very superficial for someone who had his head banged as viciously as he says.

  55. Sling Trebuchet,

    “In order for Zimmerman’s to be innocent, Martin has to be guilty of committing an unprovoked assault so violent that Zimmerman feared for his life.

    To presume Zimmerman to be innocent is – in this particular case – to presume Martin to be guilty.”

    First, unprovoked is weasling. “Your mother ****s big (whatever color) ***ks”. Provocation? Z followed M (or chased or stalked to add the emotional). Provocation? Martin only has to be the aggressor, no unprovoked nor “so violent”. Don’t make shit up (I apologize for the phrase, but I’m tired of all

    No, Z’s innocence isn’t by way of your description of what M has to be guilty of, nor is it an either Z’s guilty or M is. False dichotomy, and I feel shame to go the way of Gene H.s dismissive argumentation, but really that is what you’ve posed.

    “so violent”? Have you ever been hit bare-knuckled in an eye? You can’t see for seconds, many seconds. The blow shuts off the eye hit, as well the other eye. You can’t do a damn thing but you can hope you won’t be hit again, and again, and again. You fear for your life at the point when you can’t defend yourself, because the blow leaves you unable to defend yourself. Life isn’t the BS you see on TV or in the Movies (think you can shake off a beer bottle strike?) nor can you judge it by George Foreman or my Renshi (this guy used a log, and I mean a log, for shin strike practice, and could take a face strike and smile back, scary) because we aren’t them. Even they aren’t them by the BS we see on TV or in Movies. (You do understand that surviving explosions that throw you 10’s of feet is pure BS, the overpressure liquifies your internal organs because it threw you those 10s of feet, you do know that? I’m being pissy again.) The real world isn’t “Fight Club”.

    “so violent”? Really? Use emotionally charged phrases much?

  56. Ariel,

    Either Zimmerman is truthful or he isn’t.

    Martin runs up behind him and ….
    “You got a problem?”
    “No I don’t have a problem!

    Zimmerman says he was in fear of his life. Punching him. Pounding and pounding his head on the concrete.

    You can’t do a damn thing but you can hope you won’t be hit again
    Apparently you can have a conversation with witness John.
    Apparently you can get your hand on a gun, raise it and – being careful to conciously position the gun so that you don’t hit your other arm – shoot the guy.

    Going by your description, Zimmerman was lucky that his nose rather than his eye got hit.

    Either Martin made that violent unprovoked attack as Zimmerman describes – or he didn’t.

    If Zimmerman is innocent, then Martin is guilty.

  57. Malisha,

    Look at your words here: “what we have is: Pro-Zims say it was perfectly all right, and in fact it was noble and good and righteous and white, for Zimmerman to follow the possibly evil Martin.” Neutral words carrying no connotation, no emotional bias. I’d applaud, but my sarcasm gets in the way.

    Starting from the last to work inward, Z is white like Linda Ronstadt is white, unless Hispanic is a term of convenience, and no it doesn’t mean “fluent in
    Spanish”. Going further, I don’t think you can typify “pro-Zs” as believing Z ” was noble and good and righteous”, though you may view it as such. It might be more subtle, such as M attacked Z (for whatever reason, you may know but I don’t), and Z feared for his safety and his life. Maybe even Z felt M grabbing at his gun (CCP), so Z, fearing for his life when M found his gun, wrestled for it and killed M. We can all make s**t up (I’m avoiding moderation, thank you). Maybe Z attacked M, if so he should rot in jail.

    I won’t respond to much of what else you wrote because I don’t see it as pertinent. Either Z attacked M or M attacked Z, if the latter the question is whether Z’s response is justifiable or not. If he was a cop, we’d be done.

    All the conjecture on what happened, all the “his frame of mind” crap, almost all of what you all write is what you want to believe and it’s worth nothing more than that. This: “In Zimmerman’s mind he followed,,, uh, went in the same direction as one of those “a55holes [who] always get away” He’s going to do the job that the cops have been unable to do, this a55hole isn’t going to get away.” Pure crap, pure made up crap. Fiction as fact in the mind of the maker.

    I’m tired of this. I’ve seen it, I’ve heard it, I’ve read it, over and over. I’ve been reading newspapers since before Kennedy was shot. The ability of people to take their preconceptions, their prejudices, their flights of farce, and turn them into some truth they hold incontrovertible sickens me so much because get enough of you together and we have a lynch mob.

    That guy hanging from a tree, in full AEF uniform, well he did attack a white woman. We all know it. That’s why he was hanged. Give me a chance, and I’ll give you the story for all of us. Just give me the chance. I can justify it. I can come up with any interpretation necessary to justify it. I’ve been doing it since before history. I’ll be doing it well beyond the 22nd century, and I can rest assured I’ll have your full support.

    Just have a little sympathy…and I’ll be there for you.

  58. Ariel, you’re concerned that I used charged words and you’re sarcastic about it. But you’re “tired of it” too.

    I am not concerned about your fatigue or anything else. I used charged words because I chose them and meant for them to have their effect, on you among others, and your response to them is your business but I am personally GLAD that you didn’t like it.

    Here’s why: I do not have to justify my personal verdict about George Zimmerman specifically BECAUSE I do not intend to hang him from a tree until he is dead. See? I am spouting off about him, in the most effective polemical words possible, because I am permitted to do that; I am not, however, permitted to hang George Zimmerman from a tree. Maybe I would like it; I rather think I would NOT and I also am quite sure that if he were convicted of First Degree Murder and on Death Row I would devote my time, energy and money to getting his sentence commuted. I KNOW THAT about me.

    But you know very little about me. ONE: I am not the least big ashamed to be considered to have done everything you say. Unfair to George Zimmerman? Sure I am. Don’t want to wait until the legal process finishes to announce my own personal “verdict”? No indeed. I am entitled to say all this about George Zimmerman, and worse, and I will do so YES YES YES and unapologetically.

    Compare me to any lunch mob if you like; that does not bother me.

    I like your name, by the way.

    Now, on to another matter: your quote:

    “First, unprovoked is weasling. “Your mother ****s big (whatever color) ***ks”. Provocation? Z followed M (or chased or stalked to add the emotional). Provocation? Martin only has to be the aggressor, no unprovoked nor “so violent”. Don’t make shit up (I apologize for the phrase, but I’m tired of all

    No, Z’s innocence isn’t by way of your description of what M has to be guilty of, nor is it an either Z’s guilty or M is. False dichotomy, and I feel shame to go the way of Gene H.s dismissive argumentation, but really that is what you’ve posed.

    “so violent”? Have you ever been hit bare-knuckled in an eye? You can’t see for seconds, many seconds. The blow shuts off the eye hit, as well the other eye. You can’t do a damn thing but you can hope you won’t be hit again, and again, and again. You fear for your life at the point when you can’t defend yourself, because the blow leaves you unable to defend yourself. Life isn’t the BS you see on TV or in the Movies (think you can shake off a beer bottle strike?) nor can you judge it by George Foreman or my Renshi (this guy used a log, and I mean a log, for shin strike practice, and could take a face strike and smile back, scary) because we aren’t them. Even they aren’t them by the BS we see on TV or in Movies. (You do understand that surviving explosions that throw you 10′s of feet is pure BS, the overpressure liquifies your internal organs because it threw you those 10s of feet, you do know that? I’m being pissy again.) The real world isn’t “Fight Club”.

    “so violent”? Really? Use emotionally charged phrases much?

    OK, I can’t tell what you’re really objecting to, the assumption that George Zimmerman was overreacting to the injuries he may have sustained while leading up to the killing of Trayvon Martin or the use of emotionally charged language. Let’s say it was the former, first.

    Let’s say George got punched in the face enough to cause the blood in the recently-released color photograph to be on his mustache, nose-tip and lips, and the smudge on his right cheek near the corner of his mouth. Let’s say George is NOT a very tough guy and let’s say that made him fear for his life. My initial reaction is, of course, that it’s a far-fetched notion, but let’s say.

    Then the question would be, under Florida law, whether he had a REASONABLE FEAR. I think once you go THERE, you end up with a pretty firm — faggetabouddit!

    So let’s say that the claimed (but unlikely, according to the forensics) punch in the nose and subsequent punches did hurt George Zimmerman a lot and therefore made HIM think (wrongly but fearfully) that they were serious. What then? Then pretty obviously he would have been really angry. Wow. Just like Marissa Alexander, he can be seen to have fired his gun in anger, not in fear.

    But let’s take the other issue you express, about the emotionally charged language. Jeez, that’s a terrible charge to level at someone who’s blogging: the use of emotionally charged language. I might not sleep tonight, worrying myself sick about whether I have ever done that; certainly I should not have. Bad me, Bad me, BAD ME!! (Slink guiltily around.)

    Look at your language, Judge Ariel:

    “hit bare-knuckled in an eye?
    The blow shuts off the eye hit, as well the other eye.
    You can’t do a damn thing but you can hope you won’t be hit again, and again, and again.
    You fear for your life at the point when you can’t defend yourself, because the blow leaves you unable to defend yourself.
    Life isn’t the BS you see on TV or in the Movies
    (think you can shake off a beer bottle strike?)
    George Foreman or my Renshi
    (this guy used a log, and I mean a log, for shin strike practice,
    could take a face strike and smile back, scary)
    surviving explosions that throw you 10′s of feet is pure BS, the overpressure liquifies your internal organs
    The real world isn’t “Fight Club”.

    See, there, Ariel, that stuff is pretty emotional. Reminds me kind of the following quotes from George Zimmerman:

    Then the suspect emerged from the darkness again
    Every time he did, my head felt like it was going to explode
    He looks like he’s up to no good
    F*cking punks
    These a55holes, they always get away
    His hand slid down my chest
    I felt like when he was hitting me he had something in his hand
    I said, “help me, I’m being killed [or was it this guy’s killing me]
    There was blood all over my face and in my eyes and I couldn’t see

    etc etc etc ad nauseam

    All this stuff George has been peddling is emotional clap-trap, the kind that a person gets really tired of. Violence? Do I have to prove that George committed violence? He says that all he did was shoot a hollow-point bullet into the chest of a young unarmed “suspect” and kill him.

    If that’s not violent, I just don’t know what you’re tired of.

  59. Oh yeah, as far as “Don’t make shit up.”

    That’s what should have been said to George Zimmerman on 2/26/2012.

    Stand there and say you shot the guy and DON’T MAKE SHIT UP.

  60. Malisha, Sling, Ariel has apparently not looked at any of the evidence from the official evidence dumps or she is not able to connect the dots. Let her go. She won’t be convinced until plea bargain is confirmed or the jury comes in “guilty” as charged. That’s ok. We’ve been through all the questions of trying to get Zimmerman’s story to work and know that it just doesn’t work. Once it’s impossible to believe his story of what happened in other respects, it just doesn’t make sense to believe him about who hit whom first. Besides, if some creepy guy followed me slowly in his truck and then got out of his truck to follow me in the dark, I’d be scared and I’m not sure what I’d do. He sure as h*ll would be up to no good.

  61. Thanks and greetings, BettyKath. By the way I want to thank you for your comments about the other blog where they took your words very much to heart; I wonder if you have been over there to check. It’s your doing and it’s good.

    About being a newcomer and adopting the silly positions of the oldcomers, I believe what you’re saying but I also think it’s worth emphasizing for all, new and old, the main point:

    THIS IS NOT about who made a physical move first that might be considered aggressive. Not at all. The aggressor had initiated the aggression by following the victim and deciding that he was going to dominate him and force him (the victim) to agree to his (the aggressor’s) will, whether that will included interrogation, unlawful restraint, or killing. There is just no way around it. Even if he got out of his truck for the purpose of finding an address (a truly idiotic explanation of a clear and obvious action taken for a stated purpose), Trayvon Martin had no legal requirement on him to guess that, know that, assume that, or even believe that, even if George had SAID IT. For instance,

    “What’s your f*cking problem, homie?”

    “I’m just looking for an address, sorry if I scared you.”

    No. Trayvon believed he was being followed and that his pursuer was “up to no good.” Serino asked George if he was following Trayvon when he got out of the truck and he said YES. Sean asked him if he was following and he said YEAH. Serino repeated it twice and George agreed. Hannity even said it and George did not disagree. It is obvious and its effect on Trayvon Martin was obvious. George was the aggressor no matter what happened after he said, “YEAH” when he was allegedly at the T. Because if he was not following, when Sean asked him that he should have said, “No, I’m just trying to find an address.”

  62. Trayvon Martins hands do not support the ‘violent’ attack on Georgie at all. His hands do not even have Georgies dna on them,
    no blood,
    no signs of a violent beating,
    bone crunching bone,
    saliva splashing,
    tooth loosening,
    black bruise causing fight here.

    There was no fight here, just clothes grabbing, knocking a cell phones out of a hand, wrestling on the ground, calling for help, Trayvon held George down for as long as he could- no one came to help him.

    George shot him for no reason at this point- the one I suspect is his embarrassment, loss of face when this this lanky wan not-well-lately growth spurting teen was able to out wrestle him and pin him down.

    Is this when George suddenly remembers he has a gun? Knowing the cops could be there at any minute……

    Why yes, yes it is.

  63. Shano, that’s the story without all the emotionally charged words and the irrelevant Bogey-man foldemerol. You distilled it and you nailed it. And the prosecution has the goods on the whole story, just as you told it. But due process does require that we tolerate all the nonsense that is going on now. And during that tolerant period I’m going to mouth off as much as I like.

  64. Malisha, thanks for your words. I’ve mostly been reading Leatherman’s posts and not even going into the comments but for a couple of times for a quick scan. So the tone has become more civilized? Maybe I’ll wander over.

  65. when I think of this moment, where Trayvon is simply holding Zimmerman down while yelling for help- this was the perfect time for George to say “The cops are coming” or “The police ARE ON THE WAY” !!!

    I escaped an assault once using this tactic. Mine was bullshit and the bad guy took off.

    Why wasn’t George -afraid for his life!- trying to tell this attacker that he was about to get caught, had the possibility of getting caught, that reinforcements could show up at any time, that he was ‘Neighborhood Watch’, that police with guns could arrive ANY MOMENT.

    Any of this information being said out loud might have stopped this tragic chain of events.

    Malisha, keep on, please, I look forward to each installment of ‘Mouth Off’.

  66. Malisha, I don’t think Ariel means to him/her what you believe it means. Ask.

    We should be happy that we have Ariel to study. Unfairly or uncorrectly, I group (profile?) him in the class who support the Republicans. A fantastic group who cried in front of cameras when Romney lost. Good, godfearing folks who are for family values, father knows best, and so does Romney.

    So let’s study Ariel, and see if you find anyway to change what we loosely call a mind. They don’t respond to smoothly packaged respectful dialogue, to solid facts or logic (Romney won’t release his tax returns and he is hiding money in the Cayman banks) or just anything reasonable.

    We never did appreciate and use the phrase RWAs here. A shame, explains a lot.

    PS What thread did BK do a good job on? I enjoy her work. I would go there just for that.

    And I second Shano’s comment. More mouthing please.

  67. JoeBob, the prosecution is required to give the defense all exculpatory evidence. There is none. They are required to give them evidence as ordered by the Court. They do. But then, there is a category that you are probably worried about, and certainly the defense is worried about, that the prosecution does NOT have to give the defense, and that is REBUTTAL evidence to anything the defense puts up that is not covered in the prosecution’s case.

    So if the prosecution puts up a case that says GZ committed murder, and then GZ puts up evidence that says, for instance, “but you didn’t take this terrible injury into consideration,” THEN the prosecution gets to put on a “redirect” or a “rebuttal” and that is not required to be revealed BEFORE the defense puts up its defense. They can reveal anything they want BEFORE trial about what they intend to use as a defense, but that doesn’t make it part of the case the prosecution has to make; that just presumes that it COULD become part of the defense case that the prosecution needs to REBUT.

    So I think the prosecution is sitting there very well aware that if they do need to rebut something, they probably CAN. They probably can very well.

  68. I managed to follow the OJ and Casey Anthony cases very superficially. Wish I could do it here but I keep getting pulled back in.

  69. I think most here are utterly missing the point. This lawsuit is only about whther NBC ‘injured’ George Zimmerman. It has nothing to do with what George Zimmerman ‘did’ to Trayvonn Martin. Trayvon is not involved in the analysis, neither is the outcome of the criminal trial.

    It’s straightforward. NBC published inaccurate reports on George Zimmerman. Regardless of if Zimmerman murdered Trayvon, he never called him a racial epitaph.

    Even bad people and the evil are allowed to have their words published correctly by the press and not be misrepresented. These were sensationalist statements, and not mere mistakes. Further, the source is public (the 911 calls) and not an “anonymous source with knowledge” that NBC could claim misled them.

    The idea that all news distorts, or Fox news this/that, or msnbc this/that, is just simply outside of scope. If a person is upset about Fox news distorting their quotes and placing them in a misleading light, they can bring suit if they’ve been injured. For all those that haven’t been personally injured, no harm, no foul.

  70. Anonymous: “I think most here are utterly missing the point. This lawsuit is only about whther NBC ‘injured’ George Zimmerman.”

    Whether or not the editing had an agenda, if I were defending NBC I would assert things like:
    -They could not use up 4+ minutes of air time to play the entire recording unedited.
    – They included a section in which Zimmerman was describing Martin to the dispatcher as Martin approached the truck.
    – Questions asked by the dispatcher to develop the description were not particularly relevant. What mattered was the descruption.
    – The editing actually made Zimmerman seem more intelligent and ‘professional’ in that he appeared to volunteer a full description without having to be prompted for it. (( Always look on the bright side!! :)

    I’ve never listened to that edited recording, so it certainly never influenced my thinking.
    I am certain that it would not have influenced me, as my interest in the case sprang from attempting to find out what actually happened. I analysed the NEN call and whatever statements were available. I ran this against a map of the area to try and track their positions at various stages. I found that Zimmerman’s accounts had huge contradictions and gaps. Had their races been revesed, or had they been of the same reace, I would have done exactly the same

  71. To Sling T:
    “Define “agressor (sic)” The one that committed physical violence first (that includes grabbing, pushing, restraint, anything above just touching otherwise I’d have to hit a lot of people). The “feeling” of being threatened doesn’t arise to the occasion. A “feeling” of being threatened is only that until the threat is more than that. I’ve been in a lot of nasty neighborhoods, if I attacked every time I “felt” threatened I’d be in prison.

    Then this: “Your words could be rewritten as
    ‘Just as bad as the side that has found Z innocent before trial, with all that exculpatory evidence securing innocence since that’s all that’s needed to determine innocence.’” Except those aren’t my words, and I’ll leave “innocence” to the trial, primarily because I do believe “innocent until proven guilty” while accepting that the system is flawed and not all proven guilty are guilty. Nothing in the papers, or in police reports, or in prosecutors statements are sufficient to determine guilt or innocence in this forum. If they were, while neglecting the twisted takes, there would be no reason for a trial other than as a formality. I have stated my personal, emotional take on this if you care to look. I shouldn’t be on the jury either.

  72. Ariel,

    The only indication that Martin engaged in “grabbing, pushing, restraint, anything above just touching” before Zimmerman might have done so is Zimmerman’s say so.
    His minor cuts and bruised nose in no way indicate which of the two might have been first engaged in “grabbing, pushing, restraint, anything above just touching”.

    ANd then you have the statements of his brother and parents in the first days. Parents told neighbours that the fight started when Martin saw the gun. Brother said the fight started when Zimmermans hand went for his phone (his waistband – Remember “he’s got something in his waistband”?)

    How credible is Zimmerman’s account?
    FIrstly – Well he would say that wouldn’t he?
    More dammingly – Other major parts of his story that can be analysed v. evidence show major discrepancies. In particular the 3 minutes from end of NEN call to the shot. That would be about 2 minutes from end of NEN call to the start of the struggle & noticing by 911 caller.
    Of the 2 minutes, Zimmerman’s story only accounts for 20 to 30 seconds maximum as a walk from RVC to where he says it started just beyond the T-junction.

    His account of the leadup to the incident from clubhouse to the pathway can’t work when put against the timing and content of his own NEN call.
    What does work for that timing and content is what Frank Taffe says Zimmerman told him. That Martin approached the truck in Twin Trees from the clubhouse.

    Then you get the “He’s running ” “Are you following him?” – “Yeah” of the NEN v. the “Going in the same direction” and then “Not running” in Hannity.

    Zimmerman is clearly making stuff up.
    His major problem is the gap after the NEN call ends.

  73. Ariel,

    Note that my take on this is not emotionally-based.
    It is based on analysing the conent and timing of phone calls and on the geography of the area.
    There was a witness, whose testimony is solid.
    That witness is Zimmerman himself – but only in the NEN call.

  74. “Nothing in the papers, or in police reports, or in prosecutors statements are sufficient to determine guilt or innocence in this forum.”


    In the main your assertions are true in that “innocence” or “guilt” should only be proven at trial. This is a legal parameter that is the essence of our criminal justice system. However, it is a boundary that has no real limits today, if indeed it ever had. Because of free speech and freedom of the press any criminal trial of notoriety in this country, perhaps from the beginning, has been tried in the press.
    Due to the labyrinthine nature of our legal system trials often take places years after the arrest and charging. Rarely do juries hear famous cases where the individual jurors haven’t been bombarded with press reports on the guilt or innocence of defendants.

    This is so commonplace as to be obvious and both prosecutors and police being aware of this wage overt public relations campaigns supporting their presumptions. The public of potential jurors tend to presume “where there is smoke, there’s fire” and generally side with the prosecutions assertions that their case is “air tight”. When juries actually do their mandated job and decide a case on the evidence, the jury members have aspersions cast upon them. The OJ case is perhaps the most famous instance of this, but the Casey Anthony case also is in the running. The solution to this appears to be twofold, but I despair of it happening. First pre-trial publicity should be “somehow” limited which is a tricky issue given our Constitution. Secondly, perhaps more available to remedy, is that the right to a speedy trial must stop being measured in years. Our Judicial system must have greater resources put into it so that it does not represent the overcrowded and leisurely pace that is now the standard. These any any other systems are of course fraught with difficulty.

    Now as to the Zimmerman case. There would have been no case if not for the pre-trial publicity. The man was not charged initially and never would have been were it not for the clamor from the public. That he wasn’t charged, or at least held that night was a clear indication that he had something going for him, perhaps his father. I know of innumerable cases where someone has been killed under suspicious circumstances and the nearest suspect has spent up to 18 hours right afterwards being “grilled” by police, yet in this case after a few hours Zimmerman was set on his way. This is why there was public clamor and the media angle arose not because of Trayvon Martin’s death, but because of the still controversial issue of the “stand your ground law”. This is why discussion of this case has run rampant in this blog since it became famous.

    The sad thing is that this issue’s discussion makes the death of this young man a sidelight to the real issue. In death he has achieved a notoriety that he never had in life. I such discussions all of us tend to lose track of the human loss, as we discuss the nuances of the case. Indeed, those who would defend Zimmerman and/or uphold their own possible lapses (i.e. prosecution/police) have released all sorts of detail casting aspersions on the victim. Whatever Martin’s school difficulties, it gets forgotten that there is absolutely no evidence of his being involved in a crime in this instance, nor is there evidence even when taken in its worst light, that he was’t defending himself against what turned out to be the deadly threat of Zimmerman, self appointed defender of his territory.

    Given the above, yes it does become necessary when discussing the legal ramifications of this case to bring in possible indications of Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence. I think most of us here who have extensively commented on said guilt/innocence are well aware of the issue of the presumption of innocence. Yet this is a legal blog, more concerned with the issues behind the cases.So given that this blog discussion certainly will have no role in influencing the outcome of this case, juxtaposed with the extensive media coverage, the discussion here is quite appropriate, despite you restatement of the obvious fact that innocence must always been presumed. You are to be commended in your personal adherence to this important criminal justice rule, yet your condemnation of others, with its implication that they disregard presumption of innocence, is incorrect and misses the point of discussion.

  75. Ariel, Mike S, Professor, etc.: It turns out that Lead Homicide Detective Christopher Serino, who was in charge of the case (known as the “Zimmerman case” although it was the case of the “death of Trayvon Martin”) had originally sent TWO memos saying that in his professional opinion, Zimmerman should be charged with 2nd degree murder. Hmmm. All this talk about his being over-charged! If the first impression of the lead homicide detective who personally interviewed the suspect three times, BEFORE all the forensics were complete showing damning evidence against the suspect, was that Murder-2 was the appropriate charge, how was there so much high-powered indignation about the poor guy with the scrapes on his noggin being “over-charged”?

    It seemed to me from the first I heard of this case (around the time Professor printed the sentence saying he believed there was probable cause to arrest Zimmerman), a large and peculiar contingent (with many strange bedfellows in it!) of folks have had objections to Zimmerman being held accountable in any way, shape or form. People actually “believed” [although I think their “beliefs” were colored by their preferences] that Trayvon’s parents, family and community should really not fuss too much about the “necessary death” of their beloved; that folks in this country should really believe the self-serving word of the suspect over the obvious suspicions of the homicide detective who interviewed him, that thousands of people should NOT have taken to the streets to scream in horror and righteous indignation that the murder of a youngster had been “blessed” by the law enforcement community; and that Corey was out of line in charging the killer with Murder-2.

    Yeah, well it wasn’t so. And it still isn’t so. And the more information that comes out about it, the more that is obvious.

  76. It turns out that Detective Christopher Serino wrote four drafts of his memo (to charge George Zimmerman with a crime on March 13, 2012) within five hours. In his first drafts he intended to charge the suspect with Murder-2. Then he revised and revised and came up with accidental homicide (being “manslaughter”) for which the capias was issued.

    Revised four times in five hours. Seems like the guy just couldn’t seem to get it right. My My, and here he was about to overcharge the guy! Just like Angela Corey ultimately did, according to some experienced criminal defense attorneys.

    O’Mara has a tough case there; perhaps he should have started out with a different strategy. “Not guilty by reason of insanity.” Described more particularly: “My client was crazy enough to think he could get away with it.”

  77. No Zimmerman is found Not Guilty I hope he sues the hell outta NBC! The fact they choose to Doctor the audio of his phone call to make him sound like a blatant Racist was wrong and Immoral. And notice how Obama has said nothing so far he is a white hating clown!

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