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Zimmerman: The Backwards Trial Resumes

Week One saw the prosecution playing defense.

by
Mike McDaniel

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July 1, 2013 - 12:05 am
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Deadly force may be employed in self-defense when one reasonably believes that he, or another, is in imminent danger of suffering serious bodily harm or death. This is true in Florida and elsewhere — there is no requirement that one be injured, nor is there a minimum threshold of injury.

Why? Because this is sensible. When under attack, you cannot possibly know what damage the next blow will cause. Will it render you unconscious and at the mercy of the attacker? Will it leave you crippled or brain-damaged? Will it kill you?

In “stand your ground” states like Florida, as long as you are legally present when attacked, you have no obligation to run away before using force — though since Zimmerman had no opportunity to flee, that is not a factor in this case.

George Zimmerman’s account of the attack by Trayvon Martin has remained consistent from his initial written statement to his videotaped reenactment of the incident to the present. Observing Martin to be acting suspiciously in a neighborhood that had been experiencing a rash of burglaries and thefts, Zimmerman was on the phone with the police when Martin ran off, disappearing between two long rows of townhomes. Told by the dispatcher to keep him informed of what Martin was doing, Zimmerman left his truck to try to keep him in sight, but soon realized he lost him and told the dispatcher as much. Zimmerman agreed to meet the responding officers back at his truck, and as he was walking toward it, Martin came out of the darkness and demanded: “What’s your problem?” Zimmerman replied that he did not have a problem, and as he began to reach for his cell phone, Martin sucker punched him, breaking his nose, stunning and disorienting him, and knocking him to the ground.

Martin jumped astride Zimmerman, straddling him and raining blows on him in mixed martial arts style. Zimmerman screamed for help, but none was forthcoming. Martin repeatedly slammed Zimmerman’s head into a concrete sidewalk, and Zimmerman feared he was about to lose consciousness.

At this point, his jacket rode up, exposing his holstered 9mm handgun on his right side. Martin saw it and told Zimmerman: “You’re gonna die tonight,” and reached for Zimmerman’s gun. Zimmerman was a little faster, and fired a single round into Martin’s chest as he leaned over Zimmerman. Martin sat up, and Zimmerman was able to get out from under him and pin him to the ground. He thought he missed Martin. Within seconds, residents of the neighborhood — and the police — arrived. Zimmerman cooperated fully with the police, never requesting a lawyer.

Unlike Zimmerman’s account, the accounts of the prosecution witnesses would change, abruptly and dramatically, and certainly not to Zimmerman’s benefit.

Following opening statements, the prosecution normally produces a succession of fact witnesses, people that can testify to the facts — the evidence — necessary to establish the elements of the offense and to prove that the defendant committed it. Their ultimate job is to leave no room for reasonable doubt. In this case, the prosecution must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.

But this is the George Zimmerman prosecution: a backwards case where the roles of the prosecution and defense are reversed.

Normally, prosecutors are careful to fully question each prosecution witness to obtain all of the evidence their testimony can produce. They do this so that the defense is not able to reveal previously undisclosed evidence, which tends to suggest prosecutorial concealment. But during the first week of this case, the prosecution established a pattern of asking only the bare minimum of their witnesses. In virtually every case, defense cross-examination reveals a great deal the prosecutors avoided bringing to light, and that information either fully supports George’s Zimmerman’s unchanging account, casts doubt on the “narrative” — which is actually the prosecution’s case — or both.

This bizarre turn of events has caused the prosecutors, particularly Bernie de la Rionda, to engage in the spectacle of aggressively cross-examining their own witnesses, trying to get them to mischaracterize, ignore, disown, or soft-pedal their testimony.

Another and disturbing pattern established by prosecution witnesses is that of changing their testimony in significant and ethically questionable ways. A number of prosecution witnesses have testified to important changes in their prior testimony they never before mentioned — not in multiple law enforcement interviews or depositions. This directly suggests that they’ve not only been coached, but perhaps that the subornation of perjury is involved.

Rachel Jeantel is the prosecution’s star witness. Long reported to be Martin’s girlfriend, she was reportedly on the phone with Martin much of the day he died, and until his attack on Zimmerman. Jeantel is therefore an “ear-witness.” Benjamin Crump of the Scheme Team trumpeted her testimony as proof-positive that Zimmerman murdered Martin in cold blood, and the prosecution relied on her statements in charging and pursuing the case against Zimmerman.

In previous articles I noted that Jeantel would be a terrible witness. She is not only hard to understand, her testimony actually makes little sense. Even a cursory reading of her interview with de la Rionda revealed that not only did she fail to contradict Zimmerman’s account, she actually supported it.

Another issue for the prosecution has been its serial concealment of exculpatory evidence in violation of its obligation to provide that evidence to the defense. For many months, the prosecution concealed their knowledge that Jeantel committed perjury — twice. Jeantel lied about her age, misrepresenting herself as 16 rather than 18 in an apparent attempt to hide behind juvenile privacy laws. She also lied when she said she did not attend Martin’s funeral because she was hospitalized, so upset was she by Martin’s death.

She lived down to expectations — she mumbled, resisted answering questions directly, made little sense, and was actively hostile, particularly to the defense. So outrageous was her behavior I expected her to be held in contempt, though Judge Nelson allowed the behavior and seemingly protected her. At the end of the day, when defense attorney Donald West mentioned that she would have to return the folowing day, she announced that she was not going to come back. When West told the judge her testimony the next day would take at least two hours, Jeantel said: “What?”

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
It's a Stalinist political show trial, plain + simple, which was Premier & General Secretary Obama's plan all along. Welcome to the U.S.S.A.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
None of the objective facts or assessments of witness credibility matter. The only thing that matters is whether the jury has the courage to acquit. They have to know that they'll be trashed and their addresses and contacts all published so that the gangstas, race hustlers, and poverty pimps can have open season on them. If they do anything other than find Zimmerman guilty, they're going to need police protection for a very long time.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Upon viewing CNN's coverage as well as other commentators one thing is blatantly obvious. African-American commentators will speak no ill of Trayvon Martin or Rachel Jeantel and Zimmerman is guilty. It would take real courage for any of them to swim against the tide as certainly they would be ostracized by their peers and friends. Jessie Jackson said that all you need to know is that an armed (white) man killed an unarmed (black) boy. No need to dig further into the facts.
The politically correct prosecution is a disgrace and is tantamount to a good old southern lynching if left unchecked.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (59)
All Comments   (59)
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This is such a travesty of justice. I fear for Mr. Zimmerman. I believe he may be convicted for PC reasons, even though the evidence clearly exonerates him. Shame on you, Holder!!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The prosecution has absolutely no case, the initial investigators were quite correct to not charge zimmerman, because their was no evidence to dispute zimmermans self defense claim. But the race baiters, including obAMA, demanded a trial, to rev up the black vote for 2012, and if they didn't get one their gangbanger minions would riot, so they got one, with a grossly inflated 2nd degree murder charge, when even manslaughter is questionable. Of course once zimmerman is properly acquited, the ganbangers will riot anyway, and we have obama, the "racial healer", and the other dem race baiters, to thank for it.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
How far has the USA fallen when Race Hustlng members of the most violent, criminal, misogynistic, antisemitic and uncivilized portion of American Society can railroad an innocent man on a trumped up murder charge.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
He hasn't been convicted yet, and hopefully he wont be, but I agree it is a tragedy that this clearly innocent man even went to trial, much less going for a grossly inflated 2nd degreee murder charge, when even manslaughter is highly questionable.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems like Zimmerman is more of an African American than the USURPER with his half white part ARAB and part Black Slave TRADER ethnicity and his white privilege and Muslim upbringing ever was.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is patently obvious, even with the testimony from a Racist , pig ignorant, uneducated, bad tempered Trayvon supporting witness like Jeantel, that Zimmermans story is the stone cold truth.
The only question remaining is are the Jury intelligent and impartial enough to not only see that but to vote it. In todays dumbed down America I am not sure. We have after all got the OJ example of Jury STUPIDITY to look to.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most of the time a jury shows their ignorance when they dont convict somebody who is clearly guilty. This is one of the few times when a jury could show their ignorance by convicting somebody who is clearly innocent.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would be curious to know if the prosecutions serial misbehavior would merit a bar complaint/ loss of of license?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The prosecutor in the Duke rape case was finally sanctioned for malpractice. This case is equally abusive, so I hope the same happens here eventually.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the Prosecution's case continues to unravel the defense should offer them a deal when the prosecution rests. If they agree to a directed verdict of acquittal the defense will agree not to go after Angela Corey for misconduct. Turn the tables on her: do you feel lucky because if you're not then you are the next Mike Nifong. There is enough evidence of misconduct ranging from overcharging, witness and evidence tampering to actual perjury to get her disbarred.

If there are riots then they are going to need a scapegoat and it's going be Corey. Had the state left well enough alone then things would have died down. Now, after all this publicity and raised expectations we are going into Rodney King territory. There is no federal bailout here. The FBI has cleared Zimmerman of racial animus and you can't charge him under federal law without it.



42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Zimmerman is a dead man walking.... even if he is truly innocent (and it sure looks like it was a clean shooting) because President Barack Obama talks when he should keep his mouth shut when he weighed in on the shooting of Martin aand called it a "national tragedy" and also said: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon", Zimmerman's goose is cooked no matter the verdict.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
If George Zimmerman looked like Trayvon Martin, Barack Obama would never have known of either one.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I sure hope that the local police have plenty of tear gas and bean-bag ammo available for the post-verdict riots and looting.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
There will be a riot no matter what. If he is convicted their will be a conviction celebration riot. If he is acquited there will be a teed off hate the man riot. Since there will be a riot either way, the jurors might as well do what is right, and not convict.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tear gas and bean bags? Hardly. I hope they have lots of buckshot and body bags.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Charges were brought and trumpeted far and wide to gin up the base for the 2012 election. Now watch any appeal be synchronized with 2014. The trial itself is an afterthought. What happens to GZ the politicos could care less.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly, this is a stalinist show trial. Fortunately this is still america, and we might have a real jury instead of the stalinist type, which gives zimmerman a chance.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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