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Author Topic: Self-Defense and other law related to martial arts  (Read 48949 times)
Stickgrappler
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"...grappling happens. It just does." - Top Dog


« Reply #200 on: September 10, 2012, 11:50:00 AM »


glad no one was killed. he said he wasn't inebriated, just wonder if he was under any influence, if not i think Renzo's ego got the best of him.
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"A good stickgrappler has good stick skills, good grappling, and good stickgrappling and can keep track of all three simultaneously. This is a good trick and can be quite effective." - Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
Stickgrappler
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"...grappling happens. It just does." - Top Dog


« Reply #201 on: September 10, 2012, 12:16:55 PM »

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/05/george_zimmerman_claims_he_was_fighting_for_his_life_how_deadly_is_an_unarmed_teenager_.html


How easy is it to kill a man in a fistfight?
 
It happens more than twice a day, on average. Fists and feet were responsible for 745 murders in 2010, or 5.7 percent of all murders that year, according to FBI statistics. (The data on this have been remarkably stable in recent years. In the five preceding years, the percentage of murders perpetrated by fists or feet fluctuated between 5.6 and 6.1.) It doesn’t even take an experienced brawler to punch someone to death: An 11-year-old California girl appears to have killed a classmate with her bare hands in a February fistfight



Woof bigdog,

belated thanks for posting that link and stats!

~sg
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"A good stickgrappler has good stick skills, good grappling, and good stickgrappling and can keep track of all three simultaneously. This is a good trick and can be quite effective." - Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #202 on: September 26, 2012, 09:00:36 PM »

http://ussd.com/jury-awards-7-7-million-to-united-studios-of-self-defense-in-lawsuit-against-z-ultimate/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #203 on: February 09, 2013, 10:00:18 AM »



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/08/we-have-the-right-to-defend-ourselves-community-rallies-around-utah-man-arrested-for-shooting-at-burglar/

By they way, note that the attorney, Mitch Vilos, is the author of the "SD Law of the 50 States" book that we sell here.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #204 on: February 21, 2013, 12:54:41 PM »



http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/21/gun-expert-joe-biden-advises-his-wife-to
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G M
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« Reply #205 on: February 21, 2013, 01:10:11 PM »


Anyone who listens to Biden about anything is setting themselves up for trouble.
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G M
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« Reply #206 on: February 27, 2013, 08:21:27 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/02/27/more-self-defense-advice-from-joe-biden-just-fire-the-shotgun-through-the-door/

More self-defense advice from Joe Biden: “Just fire the shotgun through the door”


posted at 8:41 pm on February 27, 2013 by Erika Johnsen






Because the advice he offered last week to simply “fire two blasts” outside the house wasn’t recklessly bogus enough, here’s the vice president expounding even further on his recommendations for in-home self-defense in an in-depth interview with Field & Stream on Monday (h/t Washington Examiner):
 

F&S: What about the other uses, for self-defense and target practice?
 
V.P. BIDEN: Well, the way in which we measure it is—I think most scholars would say—is that as long as you have a weapon sufficient to be able to provide your self-defense. I did one of these town-hall meetings on the Internet and one guy said, “Well, what happens when the end days come? What happens when there’s the earthquake? I live in California, and I have to protect myself.”
 
I said, “Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.” Most people can handle a shotgun a hell of a lot better than they can a semiautomatic weapon in terms of both their aim and in terms of their ability to deter people coming. We can argue whether that’s true or not, but it is no argument that, for example, a shotgun could do the same job of protecting you. Now, granted, you can come back and say, “Well, a machine gun could do a better job of protecting me.” No one’s arguing we should make machine guns legal.
 
Honesty, did no one bother to inform the vice president, after his first round of similarly awful advice, that just blasting away on the back porch will 1) reveal your position, 2) leave you effectively disarmed, and 3) possibly get you into some legal trouble?
 
Personal anecdote, as a young woman of the sort at which the vice president heartily chuckled last week: I’m fairly handy with a twelve gauge, if I do say so myself — I’ve been using them for years on family shooting expeditions, so I’ve had plenty of practice time to get comfortable with them. Just this past Christmas, however, I had my first opportunity to try out an AR-15, and not knowing what to expect, I firmly nestled the ‘assault weapon’ into my shoulder, braced for impact, and… there was virtually no kick. Effortlessly accurate at both short and long distances, and easy to operate, too.
 
I would never argue that a shotgun is a good option for home defense and deterrence (especially those singularly musical sounds of a ready-to-go pump-action) in the case that a single intruder is bearing down on you, since it doesn’t take much precision at close range… but you better not miss. Tradeoffs, people.
 
And just firing the shotgun out the door when you think people might be looking to enter your home? …So much for “gun safety” advocacy.


G M: The myth that "you can't miss with a shotgun" is very common and very wrong. There are many factors involved in the patterning of individual shotguns, including ammo selection, chokes and bore size. As a less than perfect rule, you can expect that shot will spread one inch in diameter for every yard it travels from the muzzle of the shotgun. So, at 9 feet, the shot will have roughly expanded three inches in diameter. Can that miss an assailant? You better believe it!
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G M
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« Reply #207 on: March 01, 2013, 10:44:43 AM »

http://www.jammiewf.com/2013/virginia-man-arrested-after-following-bidens-advice/

Virginia Man Arrested After Following Biden’s Advice


Posted by Jammie on Mar 01, 2013 at 7:58 am





We recommend this man call the idiot Biden as a defense witness.
 

Vice President Joe Biden told Field & Stream magazine in an interview published Monday, “[if] you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.”
 
Coincidentally, a 22-year-old man in Virginia Beach, Va., was charged Monday with reckless handling of a firearm after doing just that a couple days earlier.
 
Local TV station WAVY 10 reports that the man observed two masked men leaning into his bedroom window. The men allegedly had weapons and told him to close his bedroom door. He stepped outside of his bedroom and did as instructed, then fired his shotgun through the closed door and then several more times at the window.
 
According to the news report there were no injuries and the suspects were not apprehended by police.
 
Biden’s comments to Field & Stream came as he summarized a hypothetical question in which someone from California pondered “when the end days come” or if there’s an earthquake.
 
Earlier this month, Biden told an interviewer that he had advised his wife, Jill, “if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.”
 
According to Delaware attorneys contacted by U.S. News, in Biden’s home state it is only legal to use deadly force if there is reason to fear imminent loss of life. Shooting a gun in the air could result in felony reckless endangering and aggravated menacing charges, in addition to misdemeanor charges, the lawyers said.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #208 on: March 02, 2013, 08:26:05 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/02/high-school-student-disarms-gunman-gets-suspended/
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bigdog
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« Reply #209 on: March 02, 2013, 09:06:03 PM »

Nonsensical.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #210 on: March 02, 2013, 10:53:22 PM »

The more paranoid amongst us see this in quite a contrary manner.  There is no good faith interpretation to this.  It is part of an ongoing and very purposeful effort to turn the American people into sheeple.
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bigdog
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« Reply #211 on: March 10, 2013, 06:11:29 AM »

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-03-05/news/os-zimmerman-witness-8-medical-records-20130305_1_george-zimmerman-trayvon-martin-bernie-de-la-rionda

From the article:

Trayvon Martin's girlfriend, the state's most important witness in the George Zimmerman murder case, was caught in a lie, it was revealed Tuesday.

It was not the first piece of misinformation tied to her, but it was the most damaging to date and left prosecutors in a very awkward position
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #212 on: March 24, 2013, 12:13:17 AM »



http://www.rightthisminute.com/video/update-mall-security-guard-darien-long-has-been-arrested
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #213 on: April 07, 2013, 09:27:16 AM »

80-year-old Homeowner Arrested After Shooting Burglar
Mar 28, 2012
http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/80-year-old-homeowner-arrested-for-shooting-burglar.html

An 80-year-old Army veteran was arrested after he shot a burglar who had broken into his Chicago-area home.  Police have charged Homer Wright with one felony count of unlawful gun use. They charged the man who broke into Wright’s home, 19-year-old Anthony Robinson with felony burglary.
 
Wright, who owns a pub in Englewood, called his arrest “unjust.”
 
“I think it’s wrong and it’s unjust that I can’t protect me and my whatever, and that’s wrong,” Wright told The Chicago Sun-Times.
 
Police said Wright was arrested because he had two previous weapons convictions – in 1968 and 1994.
 
Wright told the Chicago Tribune that he was awakened. by his wife – who heard a noise. Wright found Robinson inside the house trying to steal liquor. So he grabbed a pistol and shot the burglar once in the leg.  Court records indicate the suspect had been arrested at least 13 times since 2009, the Sun-Times reported.
 
Wright’s arrest has infuriated his family and his neighborhood, many of whom called the elderly man a pillar in the community.
 
“If a man can’t defend himself from harm, what can he do,” Daryl Smith, a tow truck owner told the Chicago Tribune. “We’re outraged as a community and we’re calling for the state’s attorney’s office to drop the charges. This man has done nothing wrong.”
 
18th Ward Committeeman William Delay said Wright was just trying to protect his home – and besides – he didn’t kill the burglar.
 
“He only maimed this guy yet he has been arrested and is sitting in jail,” Delay told the Sun-Times. “Where is the justice in that?”
 
Wright was released on his own recognizance.
 
His grandson, Courtney Cook, had some advice for the burglar.
 
“If you want to rob somebody, you got to face the consequences,” he told the Sun-Times.
===========================
Charges dropped:

April 2, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The Chicago homeowner charged after he shot an intruder no longer faces those charges.

Homer Wright was charged with unlawful use of a weapon because he was convicted in the past of weapons charges and wasn't allowed to own a gun.   Now, prosecutors are dismissing the charge, but did not say why during a court hearing Monday morning.

Wright shot a 19-year-old burglar in the leg after he says the suspect broke into his Chicago home last week.   Police arrested the 19-year-old but also arrested Wright when they found out about his previous conviction.   Wright was arrested and charged after the shooting at his Englewood home, which is also his place of business.

Wright was released on an I-bond.

"The judge seen it himself, an old man protecting his family and his home," said Homer Wright's grandson Courtney Cook. "An 81-year-old man is protecting himself and his family. Is he supposed to be the victim?"

Some Englewood community residents are upset that Wright was arrested for allegedly shooting 19-year-old Anthony Robinson.

Police say Robinson broke into Wright's home situated behind the tavern he owns.

"Where in America can you not defend yourself?" said Darryl Smith of the Englewood Political Task Force. "And because you have a felony is your life less valuable than any other person? Had he not had a gun, we would be here for another reason, because he was beaten to death."

"If they come into your house, whether you are a convicted felon or not, you are going to protect yourself and your family," said 18th Ward Committeeman William Delay.

Wright has two felony convictions on his record dating back almost 20 years.

"He has a right to defend himself," said Richard Kling, clinical professor of law at Chicago Kent College of Law. "Had he not been a convicted felon, he would have the right to shoot the person dead. His problem is not the shooting but that he possessed a gun, which he was not allowed to do because of a prior record... He certainly could have used a knife. If he had used a knife there would have been no charges."


http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=8604705
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 09:32:38 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
bigdog
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« Reply #214 on: May 04, 2013, 08:30:16 PM »

http://www.npr.org/2013/04/30/180116799/george-zimmerman-waives-right-to-stand-your-ground-hearing
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #215 on: May 14, 2013, 05:34:23 PM »

A couple of months old, but for the record, here it is:

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/28/biden-advises-shooting-shotgun-through-door
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #216 on: May 21, 2013, 11:32:59 PM »



http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-murder-verdict-reduced-20130520,0,6854907.story
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #217 on: May 29, 2013, 09:34:47 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/29/police-confiscate-vets-rifle-charge-him-because-he-fired-warning-shot-at-wanted-felon-trying-to-break-into-his-home/
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G M
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« Reply #218 on: May 30, 2013, 07:35:35 AM »


I disagree with the charges, but warning shots are a bad idea.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #219 on: May 30, 2013, 05:59:01 PM »

You are a thoughtful man GM, especially with regard to this sort of issue.  Care to flesh that out?
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G M
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« Reply #220 on: May 31, 2013, 03:13:05 PM »

You are a thoughtful man GM, especially with regard to this sort of issue.  Care to flesh that out?

If you ever press a trigger outside of a shooting range, it had better be because "I had no other choice at that moment".

In a gunfight, time and ammo are precious, especially time. If you have time to fire a "warning shot", you have time to move to cover, you have time to communicate, you have time to plan.

You are legally and morally responsible for every bullet that leaves a firearm in your possession. Bullets ricochet and still have plenty of mass and energy to maim or kill.

Outside of prisons, law enforcement ended the practice of "warning shots" decades ago for the above reasons.
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G M
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« Reply #221 on: May 31, 2013, 03:56:17 PM »

http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/specials/2013concealed_story.html?id=227425

Common mistakes in self-defense shootings

Seen here, pointing a gun at someone, absent the justification to do so, is the crime of aggravated assault. Do you know when it is justified to point a gun at someone? If not, you need to do your homework.
One of my favorite sayings is "he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory." It happens all the time in the real world of self-defense, where an otherwise legitimate act of self defense is clouded by mistakes the defender made either before, during, or after the act of self defense. Sometimes the error can be corrected at trial, but many times it can't. In studying and working on self-defense cases over the years, I have seen a few common themes which can turn a justified shooting into a crime, at least in the minds of the jury.


Chemicals

The very first way to get you arrested and prosecuted for what would be an otherwise legitimate use of force is to use a gun while intoxicated, or even after a couple of drinks. Being under the influence opens a wide door for the prosecution, wide enough to convict you. Juries do not like drunks. They really do not like drunks who are handling guns. And they really, really do not like drunks who use deadly force, then claim self-defense.

I have worked on several cases where the armed citizen had been drinking, and in all cases, the drinking played a major part of the prosecution's theory of the case. Even when the level of intoxication was minor, below the legal limit, the issue is brought up by the prosecution. Sometimes it is the only negative issue in the case, so instead of attempting to defeat the self-defense claim, the prosecution claims he was intoxicated (even if he wasn't). Of course, they likely cannot link the intoxication to any wrongdoing regarding use of deadly force, but they use it to smear the good name and reputation of the armed citizen. Juries will likely see through that, but why take that risk?


Training

Secondly, can you document your training? You do have training in use of deadly force in self-defense don't you? Society demands (through court cases involving police use of force) that officers must receive competent, relevant and up to date training in the use of deadly force in order to avoid a negative outcome in a "failure to train" lawsuit. You see, people can and do make mistakes. But, society and the courts will often times forgive a mistake made in good faith, but will likely punish the individual if the mistake was made through lack of training and/or education.


Much less aggressive, but still the crime of brandishing unless you have the right to display the gun in your hand in public.
I believe it will only be a matter of time before this same philosophy becomes a standard in the world of the armed citizen. Take it from a guy who has trained over 15,000 people in the use of deadly force in self defense. You want that training under your belt and you want it documented. Having deadly force training can be brought up on your behalf at trial, if it can be reasonably shown that you had the training, and relied upon the training in your decision making process. Opening that door at trial means that you can likely bring in your instructor or instructors to discuss the training you received, which by extension means you get to educate the jury as to what you knew at the time of the incident. Failure to have this training and failure to document it means you go it alone at trial. Because I teach firearms for a living, I have an extensive training resume, and I know that I can call upon any of my instructors to come to court for me and discuss the material they taught. It's like walking around with the "A-team" of firearms instructors in my pocket for back-up, only they shoot better!


Gunpoint

Another common theme in self-defense prosecutions is when a person commits an aggravated assault (pointing a gun at another person but not being justified to do so).

There is a distinction between drawing a gun as a warning to people who might be getting ready to attack, and drawing a gun as a warning to people who might be getting ready to attack and pointing it at them. The distinction is often up to 10 years in prison for the latter, if convicted of aggravated assault, (a felony) compared to a year in jail for the misdemeanor crime of brandishing. Additionally, if the armed citizen has a clean record, he can often plea bargain the brandishing charge to a deferred prosecution, (resulting in no criminal conviction and restoration of his gun rights). If an aggravated assault is plea bargained, it is often times to a lessor felony conviction, and loss of gun rights.


Hand on gun, in bladed position will likely not get you arrested but this position, coupled with the command to "stay back," will likely communicate the message effectively. And you are just a moment away from drawing if necessary.
But, why does a person get into this trouble in the first place? Likely it is a combination of failure to know the law regarding when you can display a gun as a warning, combined with lack of confidence in your skill to use a gun for self-defense. Both these conditions can be addressed with professional training. And, compounding the problem is often times the armed citizen doesn't think the incident was important enough to call the cops, and when police do show up to investigate the "man with a gun" call, the armed citizen is hard-pressed to convince the police that HE was the victim, not the individual or individuals who claim you pointed a gun at them and threatened to shoot them.

My advice is to avoid drawing the gun unless you absolutely need to do so, avoid pointing the gun at anyone unless you absolutely need to do so, and then call the police to report the criminal activity which caused you to draw the gun. If you cannot articulate criminal activity on the part of the aggressive parties, don't draw the gun.

An alternative to drawing the gun at all is simply to take a bladed stance, with gun side away from the potential attacker or attackers, and place your hand on the gun underneath your concealment garment, with a warning to back off. Your resolve to use deadly force if necessary is communicated, but there is no exposure of the gun.

We are also seeing more and more incidents of persons chasing after others who were burglarizing their house, or perhaps trying to steal your car or other property, and then shooting the individuals while they're attempting to get away, seem to be increasing. Typically, when the incident is dissected, the armed citizen had the right to threaten deadly force to stop the crime, but when the individual turns to run (or drives away in your SUV) you are going to be hard pressed to justify shooting. But it happens anyway. Society has no problem with armed citizens who use deadly force to protect life, but juries typically have a tough time justifying killing someone to stop a property crime.



Post Shooting Procedures

Lastly, the way a person who has used deadly force in self-defense interacts with the police after the incident can also land him or her in jail. This is one of the most commonly discussed issues in the world of self-defense. Do you talk to the police after a shooting incident, or to you demand to talk to an attorney before answering the cop's questions? There are pros and cons to each side of the argument.

Let me explain. Those people who believe that the armed citizen should say nothing to the police primarily come from the defense attorney side of the argument. Most criminal defense attorneys spend a great deal of their professional time trying to mitigate statements their clients made to the police. If I were a criminal defense attorney who spent all his working time trying to explain to juries why his client told police an incriminating story, I would likely feel the same way. But remember, the vast majority of criminal defendants are actually guilty of criminal conduct. So whatever they would tell the police is either confessional in nature or false. In either case, the statements do not help the defendant.

One thing to understand is that if you clam up and refuse to talk to the police, you very likely will be arrested. You see you purposely killed someone and absent evidence of justification, you have committed the crime of murder.

The other side of the argument comes from the professional firearms instructor cadre, with people like Massad Ayoob, John Farnam and others explaining that you, the victim of a criminal assault, need to let the police know what was happening that caused you to fear for your life. 1) You were the person attacked. 2) You will sign the complaint against the individual, or be a witness at trial (depending on the jurisdiction you are in). 3) There were witnesses to the incident, and telling the police who those witnesses are. 4) There is evidence of that criminal attack, and pointing that out to the officers. And lastly, 5) you recognize the seriousness of this incident, and would like legal representation before you give a formal statement to the police.

Taking this approach will not guarantee protection from criminal prosecution but at least you got your side of the story out to the police first. Assuming you tell the truth, that story will likely be given at trial too and your consistent statements will absolutely help your defense. And, by pointing out the evidence of the crime being committed against you, the police have an alternative crime to investigate.

Let's look at legal representation. What you say or don't say will both be used by the police to make a judgment call regarding whether not they will arrest you for a crime. The few critical minutes after an incident is not the time for you to start thinking about how you are going to handle this critical part of your self-defense incident.

Thumbing through the yellow pages to look for a self-defense attorney while sitting in police lock-up is a pretty poor legal defense plan. People spend hours and hours trying to decide what type of gun to carry or what bullets to use but ignore this important part of their response to criminal attack. Having an attorney to call after a self-defense incident is vitally important to your overall self-defense plan.

 
-- Photos and text by Marty Hayes, J.D.

Marty Hayes is the President and founder of the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network Inc. , and, in his capacity as an expert witness, has worked on dozens of murder and assault cases over the years.
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G M
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« Reply #222 on: June 24, 2013, 07:20:02 PM »


http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-backwards-trial-a-george-zimmerman-prosecution-primer/?singlepage=true

The Backwards Trial: A George Zimmerman Prosecution Primer

The bizarre trial, in which the prosecution must impeach the police investigation, begins.


by
Mike McDaniel



With an all-female jury seated (five white, one Hispanic) and opening arguments occurring today, understand that not only should the charge against George Zimmerman never have been filed, but that the case is remarkably backwards. The shooting of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, was an unremarkable event — similar self-defense related shootings occur regularly. In virtually all of those cases, the local police do their work, local prosecutors review it, charges are filed or declined, and only local communities are aware of or care about it. Whereas the Trayvon Martin case is an anomaly that reverses all of the conventions and behaviors normally present in the criminal justice system.
 
With that in mind, a primer about what to expect may be useful.

 


The “Scheme Team”: Attorneys Benjamin Crump, Natalie Jackson, and Daryl Parks are not only closely aligned with the prosecution, but they have already negotiated one civil settlement with the insurance company representing the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the neighborhood where George Zimmerman lived and served as Neighborhood Watch captain. Crump has been instrumental in engaging the full might of prominent racial-grievance figures, and arguably caused Florida Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi to appoint Special Prosecutor Angela Corey to charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder. Crump was also pivotal in encouraging the FBI to investigate Zimmerman for hate crime or civil rights violations.
 
It was Crump who apparently discovered Witness Eight, “Dee Dee,” Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend who was supposedly on the phone with Martin before he was shot. Crump conducted an interview with her with ABC’s Matt Gutman present, and claimed that her testimony would obliterate Zimmerman’s self-defense claim. His claim would influence the prosecution to charge Zimmerman. He eventually arranged an interview with Dee Dee with deputy prosecutor Bernard0 de la Rionda. Not only was the “Scheme Team” present at that interview, but Martin’s mother was seated next to Dee Dee, an almost unimaginable violation of interview protocol.
 
The Scheme Team represents Trayvon Martin’s parents, ”those sweet parents” as Corey called them at her press conference in the style of a political victory rally announcing Zimmerman’s arrest. For the time being, they have contented themselves with conducting daily press conferences in the courtroom, but if the trial should not go their way, expect them to further inflame racial tensions.
 
The Prosecution: Without conducting any new investigation, Corey’s office produced an affidavit that not only failed to produce any probable cause that Zimmerman violated any of the three essential elements of the offense. It was also factually incorrect and withheld vital information of Zimmerman’s innocence. Any attorney or police officer filing an affidavit promises to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This one, filed by special prosecutor investigators T.C. O’Steen and Dale Gilbreath at the direction of de la Rionda and on behalf of Corey, fell far short of the most minimal requirements of the law. Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, attorney and commentator Mark Levin, attorney John Hinderaker of Powerline, and other notables took it to task in the harshest terms.
 
In response, an enraged Corey called the dean of Harvard Law School and, speaking with a representative of the Office of Communications, ranted about Dershowitz for 40 minutes and threatened to sue him and Harvard. Harvard was apparently unimpressed; Dershowitz still teaches there.
 
Bernie de la Rionda has taken the lead in handling the case. De la Rionda learned no later than August 2, 2012, that Dee Dee committed perjury but, despite multiple requests from the defense over many months, withheld that information until the evening of March 4, 2013, only hours before the matter would be heard in court and he would be forced to divulge the information.
 
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara filed a motion for sanctions against de la Rionda for improperly withholding important evidence, and de la Rionda filed a petulant, angry, and unprofessional response that is a model of improper legal writing. He eventually admitted in court to withholding the evidence, with an excuse of: “I forgot about it.” Despite multiple defense requests, he forgot — for seven months — that his most important witness was a perjurer. Judge Nelson has yet to rule on O’Mara’s motion for sanctions despite de la Rionda’s admission.
 
Another example of de la Rionda’s malfeasance is his withholding — for many months — of digital color photographs of Zimmerman’s injuries taken immediately after Zimmerman was assaulted by Martin. It’s easy to see why de la Rionda would not want the defense to have those photos — they clearly depict Zimmerman’s badly broken and bleeding nose, and his bruised, lacerated, and bloody face, as well as multiple bloody cuts on the back of his head.
 
Recently, the IT director for the special prosecutor’s office blew the whistle on de la Rionda’s hiding of evidence from Martin’s cell phone, including photos of stolen jewelry, an image of Martin blowing what appears to be marijuana smoke, and an image of what appears to be Martin holding a handgun.  Discovered in early January 2013, much of that and other evidence was not turned over to the defense until June.
 
The Defense: Mark O’Mara and Donald West are experienced attorneys who have demonstrated professionalism up until this point in the trial. Normally, it is the defense that tries its case in the court of public opinion, yet in this case it has been the prosecution relying on public opinion and political support to sustain their case.
 
The Media: The media wasted no time in working with the Scheme Team — their narrative was quickly born and disseminated: Trayvon Martin, 17, was actually a small, slight, innocent scholar with a bright future. On February 26, he was temporarily living with his father in Sanford and walked to a nearby 7-Eleven, where he bought iced tea and Skittles for his little brother. On the way home, he was spotted by Zimmerman, a huge, hulking “white-Hispanic” many times his size who “profiled” Martin and ruthlessly ran him down as Martin fled in fright, desperately trying to reach the safety of his temporary residence.  Zimmerman pursued Martin because he was black and wearing a hoodie, and brutally murdered him without provocation.
 
For the media, the Zimmerman case fit well with their preferred narrative lines, and they embraced it fully as a too-good-to-check case. However, their bias and lack of professional skepticism quickly blew back at them.
 
NBC was caught doctoring the call Zimmerman made to the Sanford Police to make Zimmerman appear to be a racist (a civil suit against NBC is on temporary hold during the criminal trial). CNN’s attempt to brand Zimmerman a racist by claiming he called Martin a “coon” during the same phone call also fell flat, and CNN had to retract their story (Zimmerman said that it was “cold”). ABC’s Matt Gutman, who worked closely with Crump, filed a variety of stories, including a story about Zimmerman walking in the halls of the Sanford Police Department without handcuffs. Gutman failed to inform readers that, at the time, Zimmerman was fully cooperating with the Sanford Police and was not under arrest, and like any citizen could enter and walk in the public access halls of any government building.
 
ABC also provided grainy police surveillance photos purporting to show that Zimmerman suffered no injuries. Clear and unmistakable photos of Zimmerman’s injuries forced them to retract that story as well.
 
Dee Dee: The young woman known as Dee Dee was represented by Crump and de la Rionda to the court to be a juvenile — a ploy to keep her identity hidden under juvenile privacy laws. However, it was eventually revealed that she was 18 when interviewed by de la Rionda on April 12, 2012. That interview revealed that Dee Dee did not have information that contradicted Zimmerman’s self-defense account, and that she would be a terrible witness. De la Rionda’s questioning of her was inept and appeared to indicate that he had tampered with her testimony, which in many respects made no sense. Dee Dee, by her own admission, knew Martin for many years and would know his habits, his social media posts, and have intimate knowledge of his criminal activities. These are absolutely not things the prosecution would want a jury to hear, yet putting her on the stand would open the door to that, as well as to her perjury regarding her age and her lie that she was so distraught by Martin’s death that she was hospitalized and could not attend his funeral.
 
The Facts: Normally, the prosecution is the natural ally of the police. Using their investigation — the facts — prosecutors are able to establish all of the elements of the offense and win a conviction. In the Zimmerman case, the prosecution must ignore, try to explain away, or try to construct reasonable doubt about the case of the police — a bizarre state of affairs.
 
The Sanford Police Department conducted an unbiased and competent investigation, and the local prosecutor, Norm Wolfinger, declined to press charges because all of the evidence supported Zimmerman’s self-defense claim under Florida law, and none contradicted it. Prosecutor investigator Dale Gilbreath admitted this on April 20, 2012.
 
However, that investigation and its results did not fit the narrative, and so Corey was tasked not with doing justice, but with charging and convicting Zimmerman regardless of the evidence. Corey’s office has never produced the slightest evidence proving that the Sanford Police failed in their duty or exhibited racial bias.
 
That being the case, what are the grounds for charging Zimmerman with any crime?
 
The facts of the case are simple. On a cold, rainy evening, George Zimmerman was leaving his neighborhood to shop for groceries when he spotted Trayvon Martin in the gated neighborhood, a neighborhood that had recently been plagued by thefts and burglaries, most committed by young black men. He did not recognize him as a resident. Because Martin was wearing a hoodie, Zimmerman only became aware of his race later when Martin approached his vehicle, and only mentioned his race in response to a dispatcher’s question.
 
Martin appeared to be under the influence of drugs to Zimmerman, and rather than walking with purpose to get out of the rain, Martin appeared to be casing the area. Zimmerman didn’t know it at the time, but Martin was under the influence of marijuana — it would be found in his blood.  Zimmerman called the police and asked for officers to speak with Martin to see who he was and what he was doing, and the dispatcher asked Zimmerman to keep telling him what Martin was doing.
 
After approaching Zimmerman and circling his vehicle menacingly, Martin ran off between two long rows of homes. Zimmerman told the dispatcher Martin was running, and tried to get to a position where he could see Martin to direct the police he believed to be on the way and due to arrive at any minute. By the time he was able to leave his vehicle, Martin was long gone, and Zimmerman told the dispatcher he had lost him and was returning to his vehicle to meet the officers.
 
Zimmerman hung up, and within seconds was approached by Martin, who punched Zimmerman in the nose and took him to the ground. Martin repeatedly pounded his head into the concrete sidewalk while Zimmerman screamed for help. This was seen and heard by multiple witnesses, and recorded – poorly — by the police as a witness called 911.
 
Stunned, helpless, and afraid for his life, Zimmerman drew his 9mm handgun and fired one round into Martin’s torso at near-muzzle contact range. Martin sat up and Zimmerman was able to get away from him.
 
The police arrived within seconds and Zimmerman cooperated fully with them. Their photographs, observations, and collected evidence — recorded in their reports — fully supported Zimmerman’s account.  Zimmerman continued to fully cooperate with the police, including taking and passing two-voice stress tests (a sort of lie detector), and participating in a videotaped walkthrough of the events of that night with them.
 
There is no question that if Martin wanted to be in his temporary home, out of the rain and out of sight of Zimmerman, he had more than enough time. However, he chose to hide and lay in wait for Zimmerman, a man who thought he had lost track of Martin. Martin was not a slight child, but a lean and muscular 5’11” and 158 pounds — substantially taller than Zimmerman.
 
But why would a young man like Martin attack Zimmerman? Martin was a teenager on a fast track to trouble. His social media presence shows a young man immersed in thug culture. He tried to obtain guns, and often wrote about drug use, which explains the narrative’s constant repetition that Martin was carrying tea and skittles when shot. He was not. He was carrying a watermelon-flavored drink and Skittles, two of the three ingredients, along with Robitussin cough syrup, of a drug concoction know as “Lean” or “Purple Drank.”  Martin often wrote about using that concoction, and about smoking “blunts,” hollowed-out cheap cigars filled with marijuana. There is evidence that Martin bought a blunt at the 7-Eleven he visited about 45 minutes before his attack on Zimmerman. Martin was caught at school with stolen property — women’s jewelry — and had been suspended from school multiple times. The most recent suspension of ten days put Martin with his father in Sanford.
 
As for Zimmerman’s racism, the FBI’s investigation not only found no evidence of racism, but quite the opposite. When a relative of a Sanford Police officer beat a black homeless man, his tireless advocate was none other than George Zimmerman.
 
Judge Nelson: Judge Debra Nelson replaced the earlier judge, removed for obvious bias against Zimmerman. Judge Nelson would quickly prove herself no slouch at anti-Zimmerman bias. Her rulings have unmistakably favored the prosecution. Among the most egregious example of that bias has been her treatment of Crump.
 
Nelson initially allowed O’Mara to depose Crump, but before the deposition could be done, Crump submitted an affidavit instead, and Nelson accepted it over O’Mara’s objections and canceled the deposition. O’Mara was soon able to provide evidence that Crump was untruthful in the affidavit, but Nelson would not allow a deposition. O’Mara filed a motion with a higher court that overturned Nelson’s decision. Unfortunately, this occurred so late in the process that Crump has not yet been deposed and likely will not be before the trial begins.
 
Nelson has refused to rule on the multiple motions for sanctions against de la Rionda, saying only that she’ll handle them after the trial. This of course gives the prosecution the ability to continue to withhold discovery.
 
Nelson’s rulings, on balance, have hampered the defense and assisted the prosecution, and she shows no tendency toward balance as the case goes to trial.
 
What To Expect: As the trial begins, the defense will rely on the police and their investigation — on the facts — and the law. Expect them to move for dismissal at the beginning of the trial, and multiple times during the trial. In an unbiased court, this case would never have been filed. No rational judge would have issued an arrest warrant based on such a badly flawed and inadequate affidavit, and no professional judge would have allowed it to continue.
 
Zimmerman’s self-defense argument is supported by all the evidence and is not contradicted by any competent evidence. The prosecutor will be put in the unenviable position of arguing against the police, the evidence, and the law. Their case is the narrative, a provably false tale of race and hatred grounded only in a desire to inflame racial passions.
 
Do not expect Zimmerman to testify. The facts, including his videotaped reenactment of the events, will speak for him. Also expect the defense to produce highly qualified, impressive, and believable scientific witnesses. Expect the prosecution to produce poorly qualified, confusing, and easily impeachable scientific witnesses (particularly expect Judge Nelson to allow such incompetents to testify for the prosecution).
 
Expect the defense to be calm, steady, professional and trustworthy. Expect the prosecution to be angry, arrogant, and — if their pre-trial demeanor is any guide — to take considerable liberty with the facts and the truth. Expect them to defend the narrative with all their might; it is their case.
 
The narrative remains. Several prospective jurors expressed fear that a “not guilty” verdict would result in riots, or put their families and themselves in danger. Despite evidence of growing public boredom with the case, this is not an unreasonable fear.
 
Should Zimmerman be convicted, expect the case to be overturned on appeal due to prosecutorial misconduct, and to multiple and egregious instances of reversible error by Judge Nelson. There is reason to believe that the appeals court is carefully watching this case. Even so, expect Judge Nelson to do all she can to assist the prosecution and to hamper the defense, and to help the Scheme Team.
 
Regardless of the outcome, there will be no winners at the conclusion.
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« Reply #223 on: June 29, 2013, 10:18:00 AM »

This is a subject about which reasonable people can disagree.  Here is a good pair of talks on this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6wXkI4t7nuc#at=84
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 12:02:24 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #224 on: July 01, 2013, 02:13:34 PM »

http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/video/george-zimmerman-re-enactment-video-with-the-police-before-he-had-a-lawyer-and-right-after-the-shooting/
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« Reply #225 on: July 01, 2013, 04:05:31 PM »

http://pjmedia.com/andrewmccarthy/2013/06/30/zimmerman-prosecution-predictably-collapsing/?singlepage=true

Zimmerman Prosecution Predictably Collapsing

June 30th, 2013 - 10:13 am


The state of Florida’s politically driven decision to charge George Zimmerman with murder has resulted, as some of us predicted it would, in a pathetically weak case. It has taken only a few days of trial to collapse of its own weightlessness – undone, in fact, by the direct testimony of a prosecution witness, as Bryan Preston relates at the Tatler and Ed Morrissey details at Hot Air.
 
Over a year ago, I explained why this would happen:

 



When Trayvon Martin was first shot to death nearly two months ago [on February 26, 2012], state authorities sensibly opted not to charge George Zimmerman with murder. It wasn’t that they were looking to excuse wrongdoing. It was that the evidence was insufficient to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
 
Plainly, there was a lack of criminal intent: There was obviously no premeditation; and, alternatively, the facts do not remotely suggest that Zimmerman acted with a “depraved mind regardless of human life” (e.g., the savage indifference of a man who fires into a crowd, heedless of the consequences). To the contrary, the known facts indicate (a) Zimmerman’s concern that Martin was acting suspiciously (the depraved do not call the police, as Zimmerman did, before shooting), and (b) a struggle in which Zimmerman may well have been severely beaten and, in any event, would have a strong basis to persuade a jury that he shot in self-defense.
 
In advancing that argument, Zimmerman would be aided by Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which gives the law-abiding latitude to use guns for protection….
 
The “Stand Your Ground” point was gravy as far as the baseless murder charge was concerned. If a prosecutor cannot prove the statutorily required intent element (mens rea) for murder, then the accused’s conduct cannot amount to murder, period. The accused only needs to rely on a legal defense of his conduct (such as self-defense) if the prosecution’s proof is sufficient to establish the offense (here, murder) in the first place. But “Stand Your Ground” would have been very relevant had Zimmerman been formally accused of an offense less serious than murder. Regarding that, as I observed when Zimmerman was initially charged:
 

Florida law makes causing the death of a person under the age of 18 manslaughter, provided there has been “culpable negligence.” It also criminalizes as manslaughter the “unnecessary killing” of a person in order to resist or prevent that person’s violation of law (e.g., the use of lethal force to repel a clearly non-lethal threat). Neither of these charges would [be] a slam-dunk; indeed, they’d be losers if Zimmerman shot because he was justifiably in fear of his life.
 
Despite the palpable lack of evidence that Zimmerman had the required intent to commit murder, the state bowed to pressure from the racial grievance industry (led by Huckster-in-Chief Al Sharpton), shamefully aided and abetted by the most politicized, race-obsessed Justice Department in American history. Lest we forget, it was Attorney General Eric Holder’s collaboration with Sharpton and threat to trump up a federal civil rights prosecution that induced state officials in Florida to reconsider the initial decision not to charge Zimmerman.
 
It’s easy for a corrupt process to produce criminal charges. It is quite something else to prove them. To try to fill the gaping intent hole in its case, the Zimmerman prosecution has transferred the hobgoblin of racism from the headlines into the courtroom. Indeed, it did not even wait for the trial to do that; the prosecutor injected racism directly into the charging documents.
 
As I noted at the time, the affidavit in “support” of the murder charge employed the explosive term “profiling” to describe Zimmerman’s suspicion of Martin. That word has no place in a charging instrument: It was transparent code to imply, in the absence of any evidence, that Zimmerman is a bigot who assumed Martin was up to no good just because he was black.
 
“Profiling” is an ambiguous term. Generally speaking, it is a perfectly appropriate, commonsense practice – a marshaling of various characteristics and behaviors typically found in kinds of criminal conduct. It is routinely used by police to avoid hassling innocent people. Like all sound police practices, it can be abused – a bad cop can invidiously home in on one characteristic (like race, religious belief, political stance) and groundlessly associate it with criminality. The latter is rare, but it is unfortunately what the racial grievance industry, echoed by the media, has conditioned the public to think of when the term “profiling” is used. It is this slanderous connotation of “profiling” that the prosecution wants people (especially juror-people) to associate with Zimmerman. Rather than as a legal term, the charging documents use “profiling” as an atmospheric – since prosecutors had neither the evidence to prove racism nor the courage to be forthright about what they were doing.
 
It would be bad enough to do this in a case where attitudes about race were pertinent – say, a prosecution for violating someone’s civil rights. But it is even more shameful to do it in a case where attitudes about race are legally irrelevant. However much the media may be fascinated by racial dynamics, racism or the lack of it should have no bearing on a prosecution for what the law calls “depraved indifference” murder (second-degree murder in Florida).
 
Apropos of that, Powerline’s John Hinderaker has had an interesting exchange with Legal Insurrection’s Andrew Branca. Putting aside the lack of evidence that Zimmerman is a racist, John forcefully argues that, in the context of this homicide prosecution, his purported racism is “utterly beside the point.” The crux of the case, instead, is a simple matter of whether Zimmerman’s admitted shooting of Martin was in legitimate self-defense. Mr. Branca counters that the prosecution is using racism (or at least the specter of racism) to substitute for its dearth of evidence on the required mental element – namely, that Zimmerman acted with a “depraved mind.”
 
Mr. Branca is quite right that this is what the prosecution is trying to pull. He goes off the rails, though, in suggesting that this is a viable theory. With due respect, I think his explanation of the statutory term “depraved mind” is wrong. In part, he is conflating two separate mens rea concepts that arise in murder cases: depravity and premeditation.
 
After correctly observing that “Murder involves premeditation to kill or, in Florida, a ‘depraved mind’,” Mr. Branca elaborates (italics are mine):
 

In order to prove the second degree murder charge the State brought against Zimmerman they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he acted with a depraved mind. To get to a depraved mind they need to show some kind of hatred or ill-will. In most murder 2 cases the people know each other and have a long history of animus, which is the source of the “depraved mind”. Here Martin and Zimmerman did not know each other, so the State is forced to pursue some more generalized hatred – such as racism.
 
I disagree. Generalized hatred has nothing to do with “depraved mind” murder. In such cases, we are not talking about intent driven by an attitude specifically related to the victim, triggered by long-held animus. We are talking, instead, about something almost diametrically opposite: a perverse lack of regard for human life – not the victim’s human life but all human life.
 
Explaining this concept (with reference to New York state law) in the 2012 case of Gutierrez v. Smith, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals instructs (my italics):
 

The archetypal depraved indifference murder … would resemble “shooting into a crowd, placing a time bomb in a public place, or opening the door of the lions’ cage in the zoo.”  By contrast, … a one-on-one shooting or knifing (or similar killing) can almost never qualify as depraved indifference murder.”
 
Zimmerman’s killing of Martin is a one-on-one shooting. Now, to be sure, the court did not say that one-on-one killings can never qualify as “depraved indifference” murders. But it is exceedingly rare. When it does occur, the focus is not on the subjective intent of the killer but the objective recklessness of the killing – e.g., a mother who beats her infant to death (uncommon brutality combined with a particularly vulnerable victim), or perhaps a game of Russian Roulette (or “Polish roulette” as it was called in a 1989 New York case – People v. Roe – in which the accused loaded a gun with both real and dummy bullets, pointed the gun at the victim, and callously fired).
 
With due respect to Mr. Branca, when the murderer knows his victim and there is a long history of animus, we are usually talking about premeditated murder. The animus tends to prove that the decision to kill was made before the act that caused death. In Florida, that is first-degree murder, which is not charged in the Zimmerman case.
 
Depraved mind murder, to the contrary, involves a state of mind evincing no regard for human life. Far from a feeling of hatred or ill-will toward the victim, what makes the killing depraved is the perverse lack of feeling for the victim (i.e., there is no recognition of the victim’s humanity). Having a motive is indicative of acting with deliberation, not recklessness or indifference. In a depraved mind case, motive is superfluous because what establishes the mens rea is the objective barbarity of the act itself, not some fuzzy “generalized hatred” that may have been crawling around the killer’s brain.
 
It is virtually inconceivable that a situation involving self-defense on the killer’s part will fit a “depraved mind” charge. And I am not limiting myself to situations when the self-defense claim is legally convincing. I am saying that in any one-on-one scenario where self-defense is worth raising, it is nigh inconceivable that a “depraved mind” murder has occurred. To be more concrete, let’s say we are in a self-defense situation where the claim is legally insufficient: for example, the use of lethal force was not a proportionate response to the threat; or perhaps the killer provoked the altercation that eventually led to his use of lethal force. In such circumstances, we can reject the self-defense claim but still recognize that the killing was not “depraved.” The degree of inhumanity required to make a killing “depraved” is not going to be found in circumstances where a person is defending himself, even if that defense is – as a matter of law – excessive.
 
There is thus a chain of abuses that makes the Zimmerman prosecution a disgrace. There is no evidence that Zimmerman is a racist. Racism cannot be inferred from invocations of “profiling” – which tell us more about the prosecutors than about Zimmerman. The imagined “profiling” cannot be inflated into a “generalized hatred.” Even if there were a generalized hatred, it cannot substitute for proof of the required mental element of depraved indifference to human life – racism is a noxious attitude, but there are people who are mildly racist; no one is mildly depraved.
 
It is abundantly clear that the murder of Trayvon Martin is not a case of second-degree murder, a charge that carries a possible life sentence and a minimum of 25 years’ imprisonment (because a firearm was used). Yet, the special prosecutor brought the charge anyway. Plainly, she hoped Zimmerman would be either railroaded in a trial that substituted incitement for proof, or intimidated into pleading guilty to a lesser charge.
 
This case does not belong in a criminal court. That it has gotten this far is a sad triumph of demagoguery over due process.
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« Reply #226 on: July 01, 2013, 04:51:46 PM »

There you go, being logical again.  cheesy

That said, the simple fact is that, not without examples to back it up, many people, particularly black Americans, believe that police departments, especially white officers, are racists against black people.

At least now, just as in the Duke lacrosse alleged rape of a stripper case, the Truth will win out and silence the "nattering nabobs of negativity" , , , until the next time.
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« Reply #227 on: July 01, 2013, 07:04:42 PM »

There you go, being logical again.  cheesy

That said, the simple fact is that, not without examples to back it up, many people, particularly black Americans, believe that police departments, especially white officers, are racists against black people.

At least now, just as in the Duke lacrosse alleged rape of a stripper case, the Truth will win out and silence the "nattering nabobs of negativity" , , , until the next time.

This was never about "justice", it was about churning up hatred to feed to the racial industrial complex/Obama vote. Imagine how disappointed they were to find out Zimmerman wasn't Jewish and was a hispanic Obama supporter. The NY Times had to mint "white hispanic" just for this case.
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« Reply #228 on: July 04, 2013, 12:19:10 PM »

http://reason.com/archives/2012/04/05/7-rules-for-recording-police
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« Reply #229 on: July 08, 2013, 10:07:53 AM »


Hat tip to Objectivist:

Zimmerman’s Fate and Looming Race Riots
Posted By Arnold Ahlert On July 3, 2013 on www.frontpagemag.com
 

The murder case against George Zimmerman is rapidly unraveling, due in large part to the compelling testimony of key witnesses. Ordinarily, there is nothing unusual about compelling testimony changing the course of a trial, but in this case it is witnesses presented by the prosecution that are bolstering the case for the defendant. Thus, with each passing day it is becoming more apparent that the real reason for bringing this case to trial was to assuage the media-driven concerns of the racial grievance industry, led by chief arsonists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Shamefully aiding and abetting them is the racially polarized Justice Department led by Attorney General Eric Holder.

We begin with the witnesses. Billed as the state’s “star witness,” 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel, the last person to talk to Trayvon Martin before his death, proved to be a major embarrassment. If there is a racial element to this case, other than the prosecution’s unsubstantiated accusation that Zimmerman “profiled” Martin, Jeantel introduced it during her testimony. She revealed that Trayvon Martin had referred to Zimmerman as a “creepy-ass cracker,” even as she subsequently denied it was a racial term. Another compelling part of her testimony was in regard to a letter she had supposedly written to Martin’s mother describing the chain of events that led to Trayvon’s death. During questioning by defense attorney Don West, Jeantel was forced to admit that, despite signing it, she was incapable of reading the cursive script in which it was written.

West further grilled Jeantel about her inconsistent statements to police, and the discrepancies in her testimony. Jeantel blamed them on questions posed by law enforcement officials, and the lengths of the interviews. As to the omission of details, she claimed she was trying to spare the Martin family from enduring additional grief. In the end, Jeantel admitted she didn’t know who threw the first punch, and that she lied under oath. The former admission makes it virtually impossible for the prosecution to prove that Zimmerman didn’t fire in self-defense. The latter admission challenges Jeantel’s entire credibility.

Yet it was testimony from John Good, who witnessed the fight between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, that provided the most damaging, and perhaps fatal blow to the state’s case. Good testified that he saw Trayvon Martin on top of George Zimmerman, raining punches down on him Mixed Martial Arts style. Good further testified that the scream he heard must have come from Zimmerman, because he was on the bottom, and Martin was facing away from Good.

On Monday, detective Doris Singleton, who questioned Zimmerman the night of the shooting, became the latest prosecution witness to undermine the state’s case. She testified that Zimmerman asked her about the crucifix she wore on her neck, and buried his head in his hands after learning that Martin had died. During the exchange Singleton testified that Zimmerman said it was ”always wrong to kill.” ”I said to him, ‘If what you’re telling me is true then I don’t think that’s what God meant, you couldn’t save your own life,’” she said. Singleton further testified that Zimmerman was shocked when he learned that Martin was dead.

Audiotape of Singleton’s interview with Zimmerman was played in court. He explained he had joined the neighborhood watch after his home had been broken into. As to the fatal encounter with Martin, Zimmerman said Martin “jumped out” at him from the bushes and said, “What the f— is your problem, homey?” Zimmerman claimed he didn’t have a problem, and said Martin responded by saying, “Now you have a problem,” and punched him in the nose. When Zimmerman fell, Martin allegedly got on top of him, throwing punches. “He put his hands on my nose and said, ‘You’re going to die tonight,’” said Zimmerman on the tape. Zimmerman then stated that Martin saw his (Zimmerman’s) gun and started to reach for it, which is when Zimmerman  drew it and shot the teenager.

Hirotaka Nakasone, an FBI audio voice analyst, further discredited the state’s case, saying he was unable to determine which of the two men was captured screaming on audio.

The state’s best witness was former lead investigator for the Sanford Police, Christopher Serino, who testified that Zimmerman’s injuries were “lacking” in terms of his story. He was further concerned that Zimmerman didn’t identify himself to Martin. Yet under cross-examination by defense attorney Mark O’Mara regarding Serino’s suggestion to Zimmerman that there might be a videotape of the incident, Serino admitted Zimmerman was buoyed by the possibility. ”I believe his words were, ‘thank god. I was hoping somebody would have videotaped it’,” said Serino. O’Mara then asked Serino what that response indicated to him. “Either he was telling the truth or he was a complete pathological liar,” the detective responded. The defense then asked Serino if pathological liar was removed from the equation, did he believe Zimmerman was being truthful. “Yes,” he testified.

Additional witnesses presented by the prosecution have, to date, corroborated Zimmerman’s version of the events in question, save one: Selma Mora testified last Thursday that Zimmerman was on top of Martin in the moments before a gunshot ended the fight, telling the court that a man wearing “patterns between black and red” was on top, meaning Zimmerman. ”One of them was on the ground, and the other one was on top in position like a rider,” the Spanish-speaking Mora testified through a translator. Yet unlike Good, Mora did not see the fight prior to the gunshot.

Again, these are witnesses for the prosecution, whose job is to prove that Zimmerman is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet it is more complicated than that. Because the state filed second degree murder charges against Zimmerman (as opposed to manslaughter, where they might have argued he acted without just cause), Florida law requires them to prove Zimmerman ”acted according to a ‘depraved mind’ without regard for human life.”

So why did the state pursue that charge? Because Trayvon Martin became a cause célèbre for race-hatred promoters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who called for marches and boycotts against the city of Sanford. Their efforts were aided and abetted by corrupt media, which bent over backwards to insert race into the equation. Those efforts included the New York Times referring to Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic,” NBC purposefully editing an audiotape of his 911 call to make Zimmerman appear racist, CNN claiming Zimmerman used the word “coon” when he actually said “cold,” and innumerable news outlets publishing a picture of Martin at age 13, despite the fact that he was 17 and over six feet tall at the time of the incident.

If a report by “sundance” at conservativetreehouse.com is accurate, the media’s effort to paint Zimmerman as racist was part of a well-coordinated publicity campaign undertaken by Martin family attorneys Benjamin Crump and Natalie Jackson, in conjunction with publicist Ryan Julison, who was instrumental in providing publicity for the Pigford Farmer’s lawsuit and settlement. “Within the prior networking connections to this lawsuit, and within the media consulting/advocacy, is where the outline of the Congressional Black Caucus and substantive race-dependent civil rights leaders such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP’s Ben Jealous are connected to Ryan Julison through Benjamin Crump and Natalie Jackson and the Pigford II Lawyer, Greg Francis,” he writes, further noting that their efforts were all about creating a “systematic campaign of optical control.”

Andrew McCarthy reveals the consequences of such a campaign with respect to the DOJ, citing the initiation of a “federal civil rights prosecution that induced state officials in Florida to reconsider the initial decision not to charge Zimmerman.” “It’s easy for a corrupt process to produce criminal charges,” writes McCarthy.

“It is quite something else to prove them. To try to fill the gaping intent hole in its case, the Zimmerman prosecution has transferred the hobgoblin of racism from the headlines into the courtroom. Indeed, it did not even wait for the trial to do that; the prosecutor injected racism directly into the charging documents.”

The Florida prosecutor did that by inserting the term “profiling” into the document which, McCarthy notes, was an effort “to imply, in the absence of any evidence, that Zimmerman is a bigot who assumed Martin was up to no good just because he was black.”

Yet it is PJMedia’s J. Christian Adams, a former attorney at the Justice Department, who reveals a disturbing reality regarding why the DOJ forced Florida’s hand. “Right now, hanging on the door of a federal employee’s office in the Department of Justice (DOJ) Voting Section is a sign expressing racial solidarity with Trayvon Martin,” Adams writes. He further notes that even as the DOJ abetted the mob demanding racial justice in Florida, it did absolutely nothing about New Black Panther leader Mikhail Muhammad, who put a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman’s head and called for the mobilization of 10,000 black men to capture him.

In terms of making the case a national sensation, all of these efforts have been enormously successful, even as they remain mind-numbingly irresponsible — as well as substantially dangerous. If numerous comments posted on Twitter are any indication, the failure to convict Zimmerman of murder will precipitate large-scale rioting around the nation. In that regard, former Chicago police officer Paul Huebl adds fuel to an already burning fire. “With today’s social media I fully expect organized race rioting to begin in every major city to dwarf the Rodney King and the Martin Luther King riots of past decades,” he writes.

“If you live in a large city be prepared to evacuate or put up a fight to win. You will need firearms, fire suppression equipment along with lots of food and water. Police resources will be slow and outgunned everywhere.”

Philadelphia Tribune columnist Charles D. Ellison takes it one step further, insisting that the “pervasive cynicism currently surrounding the trial could be validated by an acquittal–and there is the risk of a flashpoint as intense as the aftermath of that fateful Los Angeles police brutality verdict in 1992.”

The message here is clear: either Zimmerman is found guilty, irrespective of the evidence, or the country will burn.

Barring a bombshell turn of events, the state will have a difficult, if not impossible, task proving that Zimmerman acted according to a depraved mind without regard for human life. The six female jurors and four alternates hearing the case have been sequestered and will remain so for the duration of the trial. Thus, it remains impossible to know if they are aware of the extra-judicial firestorm this case is engendering, and whether that firestorm will have any effect on their verdict.

Obviously, there is one man who could go a long way toward defusing this entire scenario should he choose to do so. President Barack Obama could rise above the fray and explain to every American that our system of justice means nothing if the threat of violence can corrupt the verdict of a murder trial. The President could make it clear that violent outbursts of any kind are absolutely unacceptable and attempt to defuse an already tense environment. He won’t, however, because race riots are good for the Democratic Party. They fire up the base. It’s what the whole show was for.
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« Reply #230 on: July 08, 2013, 04:06:38 PM »


"Obviously, there is one man who could go a long way toward defusing this entire scenario should he choose to do so. President Barack Obama could rise above the fray and explain to every American that our system of justice means nothing if the threat of violence can corrupt the verdict of a murder trial. The President could make it clear that violent outbursts of any kind are absolutely unacceptable and attempt to defuse an already tense environment. He won’t, however, because race riots are good for the Democratic Party. They fire up the base. It’s what the whole show was for."

Exactly.
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« Reply #231 on: July 09, 2013, 03:44:53 PM »

**Di Maio wrote the textbook that is the top reference on the forensic examination of GSW.**


http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57592866-504083/george-zimmerman-trial-trayvon-martin-was-on-top-of-zimmerman-when-teen-was-shot-gunshot-wound-expert-testifies/

July 9, 2013 1:00 PM
George Zimmerman trial: Trayvon Martin was on top of Zimmerman when teen was shot, gunshot wound expert testifies

By Erin Donaghue

 George Zimmerman listens to testimony in the courtroom for the 21st day of his trial in Seminole circuit court, July 9, 2013 in Sanford, Florida.
/ Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) SANFORD, Fla. -- A nationally renowned gunshot wound expert testified Tuesday that Trayvon Martin's gunshot wound was consistent with accused murderer George Zimmerman's story that the teen was on top of him and leaning over when he was shot.

George Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain standing trial in the teen's shooting death, has said Martin attacked him and was on top of him just before the fatal gunshot. Prosecutors have argued Zimmerman profiled the teen and started the confrontation.


Taking the stand for the defense, Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a forensic pathologist, said that Martin's gunshot wound was consistent with the gun's muzzle being against his clothing, which would have been two to four inches away from his body when he was shot.

"If you lean over someone, you notice the clothing tends to fall away from the chest," Di Maio said. "If instead you're lying on your back and someone shoots you, the clothing is going to be against your chest."

Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, left the courtroom as Di Maio testified. The jury saw graphic photos of Trayvon Martin's gunshot wounds in court.

Who was the aggressor in the Feb. 26, 2012 altercation in the Sanford, Fla., gated community has been a key issue in Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial, which is in its eleventh day of testimony.

Di Maio said that Trayvon Martin would have been alive for about one to three minutes following the gunshot wound, but would have been able to move and speak for at least ten to fifteen seconds.

The testimony was a contrast to the remarks of a medical examiner who conducted Martin's autopsy, who said that the teen could have been alive for up to ten minutes after the gunshot. Dr. Shiping Bao also said he didn't believe Martin would have been able to move after receiving the shot.

Prosecutors have said that George Zimmerman told investigators he moved Martin's arms away from his body after the gunshot, although Martin was found with his arms tucked beneath his chest. Answering a question from defense attorney Don West, Di Maio said that someone may be able to move their arms after receiving a similar gunshot.

Zimmerman's injuries indicate "you've had severe force, it's not just like you bumped your head or something like that," Di Maio said.

Zimmerman's injuries were consistent with having his head hit against concrete more than once, Di Maio said. The former neighborhood watch captain said the teen smashed his head into a sidewalk several times before he claimed he acted in self-defense.

The testimony was a contrast to another medical examiner, Dr. Valerie Rao, who testified for prosecutors that Zimmerman had "insignificant" injuries that didn't appear to result from multiple impacts against concrete.

Pointing to photos of Zimmerman's injures, Di Maio also said Zimmerman's nose may have been fractured, an injury he said was consistent with being punched in the nose, as Zimmerman said Martin did.

Di Maio also said it's possible to receive trauma without visible wounds. "You can get severe trauma to the head without external injuries, actually," Di Maio said.




Di Maio also explained that if clothes taken into evidence are wet and packaged in plastic bags, and not paper bags, it can ruin the samples since "bacteria multiplies and you get mold and it stinks to high heaven." Defense attorneys believe DNA evidence found on Martin's hooded sweatshirt and undershirt was degraded since the clothing wasn't packaged properly.




Di Maio was still on the stand early Tuesday afternoon after court recessed for lunch.
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« Reply #232 on: July 10, 2013, 12:28:51 PM »

72 more shot and 11 more killed in Chicago over the holiday weekend.  Black on black crime for the most part.  No coverage to speak of.  Some of the rare coverage said violent crime was still down from last year in Chicago.  Lower violent crime than last year in Chicago is not exactly the gold standard of safe neighborhoods. 

Was the Zimmerman show trial ever about anything other than race?  Trayvon was black.  People thought Zimmerman was white, though he is Hispanic and 8 times more black than Elizabeth Warren is 'native'.  A media outlet doctored a tape to make the 911 call sound racial, when all he did was answer a question of what race the man was.  People went nuts, demanding prosecution and got it.  It was overcharged at 2nd degree murder.  That is what it would be if he shot him when when he first saw him, not as the result of a fight and getting his nose broken. 

There is no question in my mind that Zimmerman's claim self defense constitutes more than reasonable doubt to the charge, if not truth.  Zimmerman did not set out to shoot him.  He followed him and called 911 instead.  More likely from what we hear about the testimony, Trayvon started a fist fight and was winning it against a guy who had a gun.  Bad choice.
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« Reply #233 on: July 10, 2013, 08:52:37 PM »


http://frontpagemag.com/2013/frontpagemag-com/the-zimmerman-trial-and-black-skin-privilege/
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« Reply #234 on: July 12, 2013, 08:32:15 AM »

 Was Trayvon Martin aggressive and paranoid from smoking marijuana, and did that lead him to attack George Zimmerman? That’s what lawyers for Mr. Zimmerman are arguing. He is on trial for killing Mr. Martin, but claims he acted in self-defense, and the judge in the racially charged, nationally followed case decided earlier this week that the jury could be presented with Mr. Martin’s toxicology report, which shows that he had marijuana in his system.
Related


As a neuropsychopharmacologist who has spent 15 years studying the neurophysiological, psychological and behavioral effects of marijuana, I find this line of reasoning laughable. The toxicology exam, which was conducted the morning after Mr. Martin was killed, found a mere 1.5 nanograms per milliliter of blood of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in his body. This strongly suggests he had not ingested marijuana for at least 24 hours. This is also far below the THC levels that I have found necessary, in my experimental research on dozens of subjects, to induce intoxication: between 40 and 400 nanograms per milliliter. In fact, his THC levels were significantly lower than the sober, baseline levels of about 14 nanograms per milliliter of many of my patients, who are daily users. Mr. Martin could not have been intoxicated with marijuana at the time of the shooting; the amount of THC found in his system was too low for it to have had any meaningful effect on him.

Some observers of the case note that the toxicology test also found 7.3 nanograms per milliliter of THC-COOH, one of the main metabolic byproducts formed as the liver breaks down THC. But these metabolites of marijuana have no psychoactive properties, and they have no effect on behavior. They can also remain in the body, like THC itself, for up to four weeks. This is why their presence does not reveal when — or exactly how much of — the drug was used.

For argument’s sake, though, suppose that the tiny amount of THC found in Mr. Martin’s blood somehow managed to mildly intoxicate him that night. The scientific studies, including my own research, on the short-term effects of the drug on cognitive functioning show how unlikely it is that marijuana could have caused him to behave erratically or have difficulty following instructions.

Granted, the drug can temporarily slow people down in completing familiar tasks that involve memory or abstract reasoning, and it can lower a person’s level of vigilance or focus. But research subjects in my studies have shown that they can make plans, exhibit self-control and cooperate closely with others even under heavy influence of marijuana — never mind when only slightly affected, as Mr. Martin could, at most, have been.

There is a broader point to be made, though. Regardless of how intoxicated Mr. Martin was, the research tells us that aggression and violence are highly unlikely outcomes of marijuana use. Based on my own work, during which I have administered thousands of doses of marijuana, I can say that its main effects are contentment, relaxation, sedation, euphoria and increased hunger, all peaking within 5 to 10 minutes after smoking and lasting for about two hours. It is true that very high THC concentrations — far beyond Mr. Martin’s levels — can cause mild hallucinations and paranoia, but even these effects are rare and usually seen only in very inexperienced users.

If anything, it is marijuana withdrawal that can increase aggression. But it, too, is rare and is mainly seen after abrupt cessation of heavy, almost daily use of the drug. We have seen no evidence to suggest that Mr. Martin was this kind of user, making it unlikely that marijuana withdrawal could have made him act aggressively toward Mr. Zimmerman. Remember, too, that Mr. Martin calmly purchased iced tea and candy from a 7-Eleven store shortly before his encounter with Mr. Zimmerman, which contradicts the notion that he was uncontrollably aggressive or at all paranoid at the time, whether from marijuana use, withdrawal or anything else.

There was a time, back in the 1930s, when scientific data on marijuana was thin on the ground. This left us vulnerable to exaggerated anecdotal accounts of its harms, especially its supposed tendency to induce aggression or even insanity. Newspapers and magazines routinely ran stories drawing a connection between marijuana use and heinous crimes, and some people even claimed it was a cause of matricide. These fables contributed to its de facto criminalization in 1937, through the Marijuana Tax Act. During Congressional hearings that year concerning the act, Harry J. Anslinger, commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (predecessor of the Drug Enforcement Administration) declared, “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

Seven decades and hundreds of studies later, we no longer have an excuse for indulging the myth of “reefer madness.” It has no place in our courts — which means Mr. Martin’s toxicology report doesn’t, either.

Carl L. Hart, an associate professor of psychology at Columbia University, is the author of “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know about Drugs and Society.”
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« Reply #235 on: July 12, 2013, 02:19:02 PM »

This is a subject about which reasonable people can disagree.  I post this here as an articulation of one side of the conversation's POV:

http://www.kirkpiccione.com/10-reasons-not-talk-police/
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« Reply #236 on: July 12, 2013, 03:19:04 PM »

GM, BD, anyone:

Please help me understand the idea of a DA being able to change the charges after testimony has been given.  Intuitively this seems unfair.

TIA,
Marc
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« Reply #237 on: July 13, 2013, 10:56:58 AM »

GM, BD, anyone:
Please help me understand the idea of a DA being able to change the charges after testimony has been given.  Intuitively this seems unfair.
TIA, Marc

Mark Steyn today: "In real justice systems, the state decides what crime has been committed and charges somebody with it. In the Zimmerman trial, the state's "theory of the case" is that it has no theory of the case: Might be murder, might be manslaughter, might be aggravated assault, might be a zillion other things, but it's something. If you're a juror, feel free to convict George Zimmerman of whatever floats your boat."


Marc,  I cannot answer the question legally but agree with you it seems totally unfair to ask a jury to convict on a change not made by the police or prosecutor PRIOR to the trial.

Meanwhile the first half of 2013 shootings map in just one neighborhood of Chicago goes mostly unnoticed:


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« Reply #238 on: July 13, 2013, 01:11:55 PM »

12 July 13

What to say to police:

When involved in a lethal-force incident, where you fired shots, otherwise
attempted to apply deadly force, or even brandished a gun without firing,
you'll  likely be confronted by police a short time later. They're just
doing  their job, but you need to be the one to look after your own best
interests.

In light of the recent "Salinas Case" ruling by the US Supreme Court, my
advice to students in this regard has changed only slightly. In any event,
it bears reiterating.

I've recently consulted with a group of distinguished a lawyers, who are
also my friends and colleagues, on this subject, and what follows is in
general agreement by all:

Simply "remaining silent" is not sufficient, by itself, to assure your
rights and best interests are preserved.  Interesting that we live in a
country where you have to speak, in order to assert your right not to speak!
And, once one stops answering police questions and demands that his lawyer be
present before continuing, he shouldn't start up again prior to his lawyer
arriving. When he does, we get into an ambiguous situation, where the
prosecution can later claim that, having asserted the right to remain silent
at one point, the defendant subsequently changed his mind, thus, in effect,
waiving his rights.

In addition, one should not wait until he is arrested to invoke his
rights. Any time you are party to a police investigation, certainly when your
are "Mirandized," your rights need to be unmistakably, unilaterally invoked,
and without delay!

Invocation of your 5th Amendment rights to decline to answer questions and
have your lawyer personally present before questioning resumes must be
unconditional and unambiguous. "Do you think I should have an attorney?"
won't suffice!

No need to be snotty, but you must be clear, and you must mean it! 
Confusion and ambiguity are always the enemy! Slam the door shut with a clear,
unequivocal statement that you wish to exercise your 5th Amendment rights,
now. Don't ask them what they think!

Insisting that police call an ambulance for you that will take you to a
hospital may also be a good strategy. Most will agree that going to a
hospital to be checked-over is probably good advice for anyone who has been
involved in a lethal-force incident.

So, here is my advice when confronting arriving police in the wake of a
lethal-force incident:

Palms out at chest-level, no weapons in sight:

1) "Officers, thank God you're here!"

2) "I'm the one who called."

3) "Those men:

(a) attacked us,
(b) tried to murder us,
(c) We were in fear for  our lives"

4) "I will sign a complaint"

5 "I'm happy to chat with you when my lawyer is present. I absolutely
request my attorney, and I am respectfully invoking my 5th Amendment Rights to
decline to answer any questions until he is personally present, sir."

It is appropriate to call officers' attention to:

(a) evidence that may not be obvious,
(b) witnesses who may not be  obvious,
(c) danger that may not be obvious (eg: an armed suspect still in  the
area)

Always be polite and non-threatening, but take a deep breath and speak
clearly.  Don't mumble and don't become chatty.

Finally, when you are "Mirandized," the officer will probably ask you, "Do
you understand your rights, as I've explained them to you?"

The best answer is, "Officers, I'm not answering that question, nor any
other, until my lawyer is here, nor will I sign, nor initial, any  document."

We could go on for many more pages, but the foregoing pretty much sums it
up. You must protect yourself, as no one else will!
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« Reply #239 on: July 13, 2013, 10:38:21 PM »

Well, at long last the correct decision was reached in the Zimmerman case today.  Still, the man faces a lot of challenges going forward from here, including security issues, and a life changed forever.

As a father, my heart goes out to the Martins.   I hope they are left in peace with their grief by the media.
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« Reply #240 on: July 14, 2013, 04:42:14 PM »

AS many of you here know, at DBMA we are big believers in knowing the law where you live, hence http://dogbrothersgear.com/Recommended-Reading/Self-Defense-Laws-Of-All-50-States.html

I stay in touch with attorney author Mitch Vilos. Here are some comments of his on the Zimmerman case for posting by me:

"Although Zimmerman's attorney did a spectacular job in dealing with the claim of "lies" because of contradictions in the several statements Mr. Zimmerman gave, you can see what can happen when you get fast and loose with your mouth before you actually retain an attorney (and that attorney undoubtedly told him NOT to go on the air and help friends write books and on and on). So it turns out the contradictions between all the statements and the physical evidence have emerged into the State's strongest argument.

"I've been saying for years (see Chapters 7 & 14 of our book, Self Defense Laws of all 50 States, 2nd Ed. ) that if you threaten or shoot an unarmed person, you might as well just shut up; you will be arrested and probably prosecuted and you will not be able to talk yourself out of being arrested and prosecuted. It can ultimately only hurt you. SHUT UP and insist on talking to an attorney before you talk to anyone else, even medical personnel unless it's life threatening. Your attorney will have plenty of time to explain your theory of the case as time passes. But if you haven't blown it by contradicting yourself over and over (which is possible even if you are telling the truth because of the tunnel vision and stress of a defensive incident), your case will ultimately be in much better shape. There are even jury instructions that say the jury cannot hold exercising your 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination against you.

"Now, if you decide to not follow this advice and decide to talk, you cannot embellish or exaggerate what happened. Video evidence, forensic evidence, etc. will ultimately make you out to be a "liar" in the end.""

-Attorney Mitch Vilos
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« Reply #241 on: July 15, 2013, 09:13:27 AM »

Well, it looks like we may have a lab case for the hypothetical posed by so many , , ,

http://www.speroforum.com/a/ABTQXCNTFM32/73128-Black-woman-stands-her-ground-kills-white-man#.UeQC25ywUpk
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« Reply #242 on: July 15, 2013, 10:22:59 AM »

First, I would point out the legal advice given in this thread is extremely valuable.  If someone is choosing to carry a gun (or any else of deadly potential), the question of exactly how things will play out if you use it needs they to be contemplated, in advance, to its conclusion. 

In all legal situations, don't screw things up any worse than they are before your lawyer can begin his or her work.  The discharge of your weapon in your hand for any reason outside of a gun range is most certainly a serious legal situation.
-----------------------------
Please help me understand the idea of a DA being able to change the charges after testimony has been given.  Intuitively this seems unfair.

Bringing this excellent question forward.  Mark Steyn made the same point prior to the verdict:

In real justice systems, the state decides what crime has been committed and charges somebody with it. In the Zimmerman trial, the state's "theory of the case" is that it has no theory of the case: Might be murder, might be manslaughter, might be aggravated assault, might be a zillion other things, but it's something. If you're a juror, feel free to convict George Zimmerman of whatever floats your boat.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/case-516709-zimmerman-child.html

This is not right.  As Alan Deshowitz argues, for various reasons (child abuse?), this prosecutor should be disbarred.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/07/14/alan_dershowitz_zimmerman_special_prosecutor_angela_corey_should_be_disbarred.html
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« Reply #243 on: July 15, 2013, 01:57:46 PM »


George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges.
 
I was pleased with the verdict. I believe the jury made the right decision, the only decision any juror could rationally make when presented with all the evidence and testimony.

We are innocent in this country until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

From the moment police arrived at the scene and the investigation began, Zimmerman was considered innocent. He was found by those investigating the case that he justifiably used deadly force to defend himself against serious bodily injury.

The detective who investigated the shooting, the Chief of Police and the District Attorney, after viewing the evidence believed Zimmerman was innocent of any wrong doing or they would have arrested him and prosecuted the case. They did not arrest or prosecute.

Zimmerman's problems should have ended there, but people who should know better, people who are educated and know the law, but don't respect the law, just wouldn't leave an innocent man alone.

Shame on President Obama, Eric Holder, Florida Governor Rick Scott, State Attorney Angela Corey, Al Sharpton, the NAACP, the media, and all the other irresponsible people who played the race card where there was none and politically pressured the justice system into prosecuting an innocent man.
 
Those who are still calling for "justice" need to take a course in the Judicious Use of Deadly Force so they too will understand what the detective investigating the Zimmerman shooting, the Chief of Police, and the District Attorney all understood when they chose not to arrest or prosecute Zimmerman for justifiably using deadly force to defend himself against serious bodily injury.

We teach Judicious Use of Deadly Force at Front Sight, right along with our lectures on Criminal and Civil Liability Following the Use of Deadly Force.
 
For 17 years, we have prepared our students to properly handle a Zimmerman type scenario and many more situations like it.
 
Our students are trained to carry guns to protect themselves, their families, and those around them from unavoidable and immediate danger of serious bodily injury or death.

Our students are trained to know that the best gun fight is the one you avoid.

I'm sure that George Zimmerman, knowing what he knows now, even though he did not break any laws and was found innocent of all charges, wishes he had avoided that gun fight.
 
George Zimmerman's lesson is a good lesson for all gun owners.

If you can avoid a lethal confrontation, do so.

But please do not lose sight of the fact that it is ALWAYS better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it.

Get a gun and GET TRAINING. Training is the key to making proper and responsible decisions in the use of deadly force and training is the key to expertly defending yourself in an unavoidable lethal encounter.

Go here http://www.frontsight.com/patriot/ to grab a 5 Day Front Sight Course, plus 30 State Concealed Weapons Permit, and our entire set of 7 Front Sight Training Manuals for only $200.

This is $2,500 in training, PLUS a full set of training manuals for only $200 as my way of helping every responsible American citizen become expertly trained in the use of a handgun for self- defense. Get trained NOW http://www.frontsight.com/patriot/

Sincerely,

Dr. Ignatius Piazza
 Founder and Director
 Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
 7975 Cameron Drive, #900
 Windsor, CA 95492
http://www.frontsight.com
info@frontsight.com
 1.800.987.7719
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« Reply #244 on: July 15, 2013, 03:09:09 PM »

GM, BD, anyone:

Please help me understand the idea of a DA being able to change the charges after testimony has been given.  Intuitively this seems unfair.

TIA,
Marc


http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Lesser+included+charge

Lesser Included Offense
(redirected from Lesser included charge)


A lesser crime whose elements are encompassed by a greater crime.
 
A lesser included offense shares some, but not all, of the elements of a greater criminal offense. Therefore, the greater offense cannot be committed without also committing the lesser offense. For example, Manslaughter is a lesser included offense of murder, assault is a lesser included offense of rape, and unlawful entry is a lesser included offense of Burglary.
 
The rules of Criminal Procedure permit two or more offenses to be charged together, regardless of whether they are misdemeanors or felonies, provided that the crimes are of a similar character and based on the same act or common plan. This permits prosecutors to charge the greater offense and the lesser included offense together. Although the offenses can be charged together, the accused cannot be found guilty of both offenses because they are both parts of the same crime (the lesser offense is part of the greater offense).
 
When a defendant is charged with a greater offense and one or more lesser included offenses, the trial court is generally required to give the jury instructions as to each of the lesser included offenses as well as the greater offense. However, a defendant may waive his or her right to have the jury so instructed. If the jury finds guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt as to a lesser included offense, but finds reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt with regard to the greater offense, the court should instruct the jury that it may convict on the lesser charge.
 
It is not uncommon for a prosecutor and defendant to negotiate an agreement by which the defendant pleads guilty to the lesser included offense either before the trial begins or before the jury returns a verdict. Such a plea negotiation is generally acceptable to the prosecuting attorney because the evidence establishing guilt for the lesser included offense is usually strong. The defendant is generally willing to make such an agreement because the lesser included offense carries a less severe sentence.
 
The notion of lesser included offenses developed from the common-law doctrine of merger. In the past, felony and misdemeanor trials involved different procedural rights. The merger doctrine determined an individual's procedural rights at trial if the individual was charged with both a felony and a lesser included misdemeanor. In that circumstance the misdemeanor was considered to have merged with the felony, and felony procedural rights applied. The merger doctrine has been repudiated in modern U.S. law because an accused's procedural rights are essentially the same whether the accused is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
 
Further readings
 
Holten, N. Gary, and Lawson L. Lamar. 1991. The Criminal Courts: Structures, Personnel, and Processes. New York: McGraw-Hill.
 
Torcia, Charles E., ed. 1993. Wharton's Criminal Law. 15th ed. Vol. 1. New York: Thomson Legal.
 
——. 1992. Wharton's Criminal Procedure. 13th ed. Vol. 4. New York: Clark Boardman Callaghan.
 
HOWEVER:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/353410/injudicious-criminal-justice-florida-john-fund

The government’s presentation of its case in court was so badly bungled that panicky prosecutors demanded at the very end of the trial that jurors be allowed to consider not just a second-degree murder charge but also manslaughter and third-degree murder due to child abuse (the 158-pound Martin was 17 at the time of his death). The judge allowed the jury to consider the manslaughter charge but not the charge of child abuse.

Noted Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz told radio-talk-show host Steve Malzberg that such last-minute maneuvering is apparently allowed in rare circumstances by Florida law — but  “these prosecutors should be disbarred,” he added. “They have acted absolutely irresponsibly, in an utterly un-American fashion.”
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« Reply #245 on: July 15, 2013, 05:41:09 PM »

GM:

Very helpful.  Thank you.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #246 on: July 16, 2013, 03:29:27 PM »

Zimmerman Juror Discusses How Verdict Was Reached
By LIZETTE ALVAREZ
Published: July 15, 2013

 

MIAMI — George Zimmerman was guilty of nothing more than “bad judgment,” one of six jurors to find the neighborhood watchman not guilty said Monday night.

The juror, the first to share her story publicly, spoke anonymously, telling Anderson Cooper of CNN that she believed Mr. Zimmerman’s account that Trayvon Martin attacked him. Fearing for his life, Mr. Zimmerman had no choice but to shoot the teenager, the juror said. Mr. Martin was unarmed.

“I think his heart was in the right place,” the juror said of Mr. Zimmerman’s eagerness to try to protect the neighborhood. “It just went terribly wrong.”

She said later, “It pretty much happened the way George said it happened.”

Juror B37, the number she was assigned for the trial, also said that when the six jurors first began to deliberate, they were evenly divided between guilt and innocence. One voted for second-degree murder and two voted for manslaughter. B37 said she was one of three who initially voted “not guilty.”

“There was a couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something,” the juror said.

But after sorting through the evidence and Mr. Zimmerman’s account, the three jurors changed their minds. Second-degree murder was discarded first. Then, after much confusion over the jury instructions, manslaughter was also set aside, she said.

The jurors, who gave their verdict Saturday, concluded that Mr. Zimmerman acted in self-defense, she said. “I have no doubt George feared for his life,” she said.

Unlike the swirl of anger and passion over the role of race outside the courtroom, race did not come up during 16 hours and 20 minutes of deliberations, she said. No juror, she said, viewed the case through the prism of race.

The fact that Mr. Martin was black did not drive Mr. Zimmerman to suspect and follow him, she said. It was the overall situation — he was cutting through the back, the townhouse complex had been hit by a rash of burglaries, and Mr. Martin appeared to be walking aimlessly in the rain, looking in houses, she said.

“I think he just profiled him because he was the neighborhood watch and he profiled anybody who came in and saw them acting strange,” she said, regardless of race.

The juror also said that she and most of the other jurors believed Mr. Zimmerman was the one screaming for help during the recording of a resident’s 911 call because he was the one being beaten. An “important” piece of evidence, she called it.

“It was a long cry and scream for help — whoever was crying for help was in fear for their life,” she said.

For whatever reason, Mr. Martin, she said, decided to confront Mr. Zimmerman and threw the first punch.

“Trayvon got mad and attacked him,” she said.

The juror also said that Rachel Jeantel, Mr. Martin’s friend who spoke to him on the phone moments before he was killed, was “not a good witness.” The juror said Ms. Jeantel “clearly didn’t want to be there.”

Clearly sympathetic to Mr. Zimmerman, the juror, who is married to a lawyer and has two grown children, referred to him as George. She said she felt sorry for Mr. Zimmerman and for Mr. Martin, calling the situation a “tragedy.” The six women became very emotional, she said, immediately after they handed their verdict to the bailiff.

“It’s just sad that we all had to come together and figure out what is going to happen to this man’s life afterwards,” she said. “You find him not guilty, but you are responsible for that not guilty, and all the people who want him guilty aren’t going to have any closure.”

On Monday it was announced that the juror had signed with a literary agent with the intent of writing a book. But by early Tuesday, the agent, Sharlene Martin, had rescinded the offer and the juror dropped her plans to write a book. The juror said in a statement that being sequestered “shielded me from the depth of pain that exists among the general public over every aspect of this case.”

“The potential book was always intended to be a respectful observation of the trial from my and my husband’s perspectives solely and it was to be an observation that our ‘system’ of justice can get so complicated that it creates a conflict with our ‘spirit’ of justice,” she said in the statement. “Now that I am returned to my family and to society in general, I have realized that the best direction for me to go is away from writing any sort of book and return instead to my life as it was before I was called to sit on this jury.” 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #247 on: July 16, 2013, 03:31:29 PM »

second post

moving GM's post to this thread:

http://pjmedia.com/blog/zimmermans-justified-lethal-force-and-self-defense-law/?singlepage=true

Zimmerman’s Justified Lethal Force, and Self-Defense Law

Textbook, but it appears most haven't read the textbook.





by
Bob Owens

Bio





July 16, 2013 - 11:52 am



Those who understand self-defense law knew the verdict in State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman was assured as long as the jury made their decision based upon the law.
 
Why?

 


Let’s start with what constitutes an “aggressor” in a conflict. Aggressor is not a fixed state. For example, the individual who throws the first punch may be the initial aggressor, but may not be the aggressor throughout the length of the conflict. It is possible for conflicts to ebb and flow, to go from verbal to physical and back again. If a fight continues long enough, it is possible that the person who is the aggressor may change from one person to the other several times.
 
In a self-defense case, the later stages of a confrontation may be more relevant to determining who reasonably feared for his life than the beginning stages. The jury can take the whole incident into account, but may give more weight to determining the “aggressor” at the moment that deadly force was employed.
 
The prosecutors did not attempt to try this case based upon the principles of self-defense law in order to convict George Zimmerman of violating that law. In their 40-witness prosecution case, they made no attempt to address whether Zimmerman was legitimately in fear of his life or not. Instead, the prosecution of George Zimmerman by the state was primarily one of character assassination and innuendo, and built upon assertions and vitriol. They asserted that frustrated curse words delivered in a flat monotone and following someone in public — neither of which is remotely illegal — were evidence of a crime. They never argued the facts or the law, as they knew the facts and the law supported Zimmerman’s self-defense claim.
 
In the case of the conflict between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, what happened prior to their meeting face-to-face — which the prosecution focused on — has relevance, but did not reasonably carry much weight. Zimmerman broke no laws in following Trayvon Martin in public at a distance. Zimmerman broke no laws if he did as Rachel Jeantel suggested — walk up to Trayvon Martin and ask “what are you doing here?” or similar words to that effect. Similarly, Trayvon Martin broke no laws if he came up from behind George Zimmerman and asked: “What you following me for?”
 
At this point, neither men has done anything remotely illegal. If they had continued talking, it is quite likely that George Zimmerman would have found out that Trayvon Martin had every right to be there — even if he was mildly “on drugs,” as Zimmerman correctly behaviorally profiled him (according to medical examiner Bao’s toxicology reports). Both men would have continued on with their lives, and probably never would have interacted again.
 
Of course, that isn’t what happened. We know for a fact that the verbal confrontation became a physical confrontation at some point.
 
Zimmerman asserts that Trayvon sucker-punched him, and that the initial strike broke his nose. Frankly, even this carries little weight in relation to the self-defense law of this case. Nothing up until this point carries much weight, because nothing either man had done up until this point remotely approaches deadly force.
 
Self-defense law isn’t relevant through the scramble for position that takes the men away from the “T” intersection, and to the eventual positioning of Trayvon Martin mounted upon George Zimmerman. Up until this point, Trayvon Martin was possibly guilty of felony battery, but he had not done anything justifying a lethal-force response.
 
Note: a punch can be considered deadly force to a reasonable jury. I don’t believe this first punch rose to that level. Only after Trayvon Martin had firmly established a mounted position of control dominating George Zimmerman did the actions of Trayvon Martin against George Zimmerman start building a legal justification for the use of deadly force.
 
When Trayvon first bounced Goerge Zimmerman’s head off the concrete by either punching his head and driving it into the concrete, or by more intentionally grabbing his head and smashing it against the concrete, the very first blow — no matter how hard the strike — was the legal justification for the use of deadly force.
 
Self-defense law is not predicated upon sustaining injuries. In another circumstance, you would not have to wait for someone wielding a knife to finally stab you, or allow a man with a gun to keep shooting at you until he finally makes a hit before you respond. Trayvon Martin’s first attempt to slam George Zimmerman’s head into the concrete was assault with a deadly weapon, whether he successfully connected or not.
 
We know, of course, from the testimony of PA Lindzee Folgate, Dr. Valerie Rao, and the forensic pathologist that Trayvon Martin successfully hit George Zimmerman’s head on the concrete sidewalk with varying levels of force numerous times.
 
We know from the testimony of eyewitness John Good and George Zimmerman and the botched identification of Jane Surdyka that Trayvon Martin was the “final aggressor” in this conflict. He had established a powerful dominant position that left George Zimmerman nearly defenseless.
 
Trayvon Martin was able to deliver punishment at will, and chose to use concrete, a deadly weapon.
 
He refused to stop as George Zimmerman offered no effective resistance. He refused to stop as George Zimmerman screamed for help. He refused to stop when John Good told him to stop — John Good then went back inside to call 911.
 
Self-defense law is based upon a reasonable person standard when determining the legitimate use of deadly force. George Zimmerman had offered virtually no effective resistance in a fight 40 seconds long. He was quickly downed and mounted, and suffered repeated punches including having his head smashed against a concrete sidewalk multiple times. He cried for help. Only one neighbor came out at all, and he didn’t intervene. George Zimmerman was under a continuous assault from a much younger, stronger, and relentless opponent. In terrible physical shape — as testified to by his fitness trainer — he was physically unable to fight back, and what little strength he had was ebbing.
 
Feeling he was about to potentially lose consciousness with the next strike of his head against concrete, and with neighbors around him refusing to offer any assistance at all, George Zimmerman must have felt something like Kitty Genovese, who was stabbed to death over a period of time in Queens, New York, in 1964 as her neighbors ignored her cries for help.
 
As use-of-force expert Dennis Root testified that George Zimmerman had “no choice” but to match Trayvon Martin’s lethal force attack to save his own life.
 
Fortunately for him, George Zimmerman had one advantage over Kitty Genovese. He had a Kel-Tec PF9 pistol tucked into a black nylon holster inside the waistband of his pants, just behind his right hip. He either twisted to his left a small amount or raised his hips in a maneuver known as a “bridge” just long enough to slip his hand into his holster and to draw his pistol. Forensic pathologist Vincent Di Maio — who wrote the book Gunshot Wounds used by pathologists and medical examiners — says the evidence shows Trayvon Martin was still in an attacking position when George Zimmerman tucked his elbow against his body and fired his gun one time as it touched Trayvon Martin’s shirt.
 
The expanding gasses from the fired cartridge pushed past the bullet, and it was actually these gasses which ripped a hole through Trayvon Martin’s clothes and stippled his chest four inches away. An instant later, the bullet followed and penetrated Trayvon Martin’s chest, ending his life minutes later.
 
It was a horrible turn of events, and an avoidable turn of events. It could not have happened if either man had acted even slightly differently that night. From a self-defense law perspective, however, the shooting of Trayvon Martin was not ambiguous.
 
Angela Corey, Bernie de la Rionda, John Guy, and Richard Mantei knew, as did two previous potential prosecutors, that there was no valid criminal case to bring against George Zimmerman. It was a textbook self-defense shooting. That is why they brought the slanderous, deceptive, and circumstantial case that they did.
 
Trayvon Martin was the first and only person who committed crimes that rainy February night. As Mark O’Mara noted during his closing: if Trayvon Martin had survived his shooting, George Zimmerman would have never faced charges, and Trayvon would have faced a long prison sentence, tried as an adult for two counts of aggravated battery.
 
There are no “winners” in a case such as this, but the jury’s reliance on the laws of self-defense and use of deadly force assured that a corrupt prosecution did not, as defense attorney Don West stated, “turn a tragedy into a travesty.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #248 on: July 16, 2013, 05:41:11 PM »



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/15/is-it-fair-that-a-florida-mom-received-a-20-year-sentence-for-firing-warning-shot/

Amazing the details that got left out of other reports on this one:

a) She had a RO on him, but went to his house
b) She went back out to the car to get the gun after knowing that he was there
c) He testified she pointed the gun AT him but missed
d) She was charged with domestic battery on him in a separate incident 4 months later
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G M
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« Reply #249 on: July 16, 2013, 07:49:38 PM »

The left/MSM/racial industrial complex will never let facts get in the way of their narrative.




http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/15/is-it-fair-that-a-florida-mom-received-a-20-year-sentence-for-firing-warning-shot/

Amazing the details that got left out of other reports on this one:

a) She had a RO on him, but went to his house
b) She went back out to the car to get the gun after knowing that he was there
c) He testified she pointed the gun AT him but missed
d) She was charged with domestic battery on him in a separate incident 4 months later
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