George Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin Trial
Source: Jason Silverstein, New York Daily News
Perpetual lunatic George Zimmerman retweeted an image Sunday showing the corpse of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager he shot and killed without consequence three years ago. An apparent Zimmerman admirer tweeted the photo to him, adding a boast: "Z-Man is a one man army." Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch guard, briefly recirculated the graphic crime scene photo to his 11,000 Twitter followers. The picture – which was used as evidence in the trial that ended with Zimmerman’s acquittal – shows Martin’s body lying on grass as investigators stand over it. Zimmerman’s retweet roused the last round of online disgust at him. "George Zimmerman is online posting pics of Trayvon Martin’s dead body right now," rapper Talib Kweli tweeted. "Let that sink in America. #blacklivesmatter" Twitter swiftly deleted the tweet. The accounts for Zimmerman and the troll who tweeted at him remain active.
The attempts to repeal most Stand Your Ground laws are huge mistakes. Instead of asking for a repeal, which is an annulment or deletion of the law, the Stand Your Ground Laws should be AMENDED. An amendment would allow the laws to be changed by adding language which would protect shooting victims from situations such as the Trayvon Martin case as well as others in situations similar to his. The amended laws should quash the Stand Your Ground defense if a person pursues the other. Therefore, cases like the Zimmerman/Martin case would likely end up differently.
Being a trial lawyer in the South, I have witnessed firsthand how race matters during trials. Race is injected in all sections of litigation, including jury selection, treatment of defendants, jurors’ perceptions of defendants, believability of witnesses, sympathy for alleged victims, and most importantly, the verdicts and sentences. While some of it is intentional, a lot of it is subliminal.
As I read and hear the frustration of people with the Zimmerman verdict, as a trial lawyer I feel similar frustration. My frustration is with those of you who do everything to get off jury duty. There are trials every week in the United States very similar to the Trayvon Martin case heard in courtrooms without the media coverage and popularity of this case. Those are the cases where you do everything to get off jury duty.
The jury likely found George Zimmerman not guilty because the defense provided a clear picture about the holes in the prosecution’s case.
Although we know that George Zimmerman killed Trayvon, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman is guilty of murder. Beyond a reasonable doubt means that if members of the jury had one doubt about Zimmerman’s guilt, they had no choice but to find him not guilty. That is a very high burden, especially since the State did not have great witnesses or video evidence. Zimmerman had injuries on the night of the shooting and the forensics evidence may have been flawed or lost due to errors.
Both sides gave compelling closing arguments. Prosecutor John Guy delivered a powerful closing by describing to the jury what Trayvon Martin went through. He made an appeal to the jury of all-women "Was that child not in fear when he was running from that defendant? Isn’t that every child’s worst nightmare to be followed in the dark by a stranger…That was Trayvon Martin’s last emotion." Guy attempted to appeal to the emotions of the jury and give them enough to hang on and asked them to draw inferences. Guy also told the jury that Zimmerman eliminated the only other eyewitness and to not reward him for that.
I don’t hate Zimmerman and don’t think we should, so before the "Why did you write about hating Zimmerman" emails start, that is not what I am writing. However, the pain in this case is real. A young, unarmed boy was shot and killed and emotions are very high. Now, to the column.
The prosecution may rest on Friday and the million dollar question is whether George Zimmerman will testify or not. The answer is simple: He would be a fool to do so.
For those watching the George Zimmerman trial you have heard Judge Debra Nelson state that she was not going to allow any speaking objections. She has made that statement numerous times every day. Several readers have asked me to explain what a speaking objection is and I will explain in terms (hopefully) easy to understand.
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