Every time I have been called to the courthouse for jury duty I have been released, only a couple of times making it so far as the venire, or jury pool in a particular case, but asked few questions and informed I was not wanted. Lawyers have to explain to venire persons time and again that just because the attorneys, or one of them, feel the person would not make a "good" juror in that particular case does not mean they would not be a "good" juror in some other case. Illustrations often include such things as saying that the defendant is employed as a telephone salesperson and if the venire, like the defense lawyer, dislikes being interrupted for telephone solitications, then they, both the lawyer and the venireperson, probably would not make a "good" juror in that particular case.
Attorneys also tell the venire that they are "not trying to pry into your personal life," though they cannot honestly tell them they will not pry into their opinions. However, when they do this, lawyers find ways of framing their questions designed to coax from the potential juror their "feelings" about this or that, their "thinking on it," &c., hoping to embarrass no one but at the same time seeking a rather candid answer that reveals biases or prejudices. Wisely, in the George Zimmerman trial now entering the defense presentation in Florida, the jurors were all questioned individually outside the presence of the other members of the venire. This is a greater guarantee of honest responses, free of intimidation or peer group influences. Had I been among those on the venire, sworn to speak the truth, I probably would not have made it out of this preliminary interrogation.
When I learned that Zimmerman was planning on relying on the defense of self-defense based upon Florida's stand-your-ground law (itself very problematic for me), I thought, He's got to be kidding! That was because I had heard his 911 call with its crypto-racist remarks and his refusal to do what the dispatcher told him when Zimmerman said "Yeah" in response to the question, "You're not following him are you?" Zimmerman became the stalker and aggressor. To me, this is manslaughter at a minimum. Although I rather doubt the prosecution can hang a murder conviction on Zimmerman, the jury's failure to return a guilty verdict on the lesser included offense of manslaughter will be very troubling.
Lest it be said that because I would be reluctant to vote for a verdict of murder, I might be a "good" juror for the defense. Not so. There is another reason why I could not hope to be fair and impartial toward Mr. Zimmerman.
The Hannity interview.
Zimmerman went on Hannity, bad enough in and of itself given that jackass of a host, and told the Fox News audience that his shooting of Trayvon Martin's -- the teenager's death -- had been "God's plan."
That's right. God killed Trayvon, not George Zimmerman. But if God had a plan to kill Trayvon Martin, why did God not prevent the killing? If Zimmerman had remained in his car and obeyed the dispatcher, would that have been God's decision? Unwittingly, Zimmerman became on the Hannity show an object lesson in the truth of Epicurius's observation that God cannot possibly exist if he is anything like he is most often described -- as both good and as omnipotent. God could have kept a 17-year-old boy with a package of Skittles and a can of iced tea alive that night, but he did not. God put a gun into the hand of George Zimmerman and sent him forth to take a human life. This is the God of the Old Testament on steroids, slaying indiscriminately for reasons that cannot often if ever be described as "good."
No, I did not belong on George Zimmerman's jury. And I am glad I do not live in that county in Florida, for if I did, and if called to a venire, I would not be remotely tempted to fake an open mind in order to get on Zimmerman's jury. Nothing I have heard so far suggests to me that this defendant is a scoundrel and should be punished.
As many fights as you've been in (and I assume you've been in at least one), have you really ever feared for your life? Really? I have a hard time imagining that you can't roll yourself out of a situation, but you can manage to pull your gun out of your holster and shoot someone. And I'm pretty convinced that Zimmerman knew by that time that Martin was not armed. The defense chose not to enter toxicology reports for a reason. I wish the jury could know that Martin had trace amounts of THC in his blood. If I was Prosecution, I would have strongly considered entering it in rebuttal. The fact is, Zimmerman pursued, FORCED an outcome, and then claimed self-defense. I'm very conservative in many ways, but that's just NOT acceptable.
In law school, we were taught that it is never acceptable to do what mobsters always say they do: "If the guy slugs you, use a knife; if he produces a knife, you use a gun; if he uses a gun, you...." In other words, it is not self defense to escalate the violence. One is only permitted to use such force as is being used against you. I don't think fists and guns have any equivalence at all.
Shadowed? One could argue that’s the same as following. There is no evidence that Zimmerman did more than shadow. All the evidence shows 2 minutes for Trayvon to get home that was no further that 1 minute walking distance. Both the testimony of Trayvons friend (Who he was talking on the phone to) and Zimmerman’s non-emergency call suggest Trayvon was running.
If you listen to Zimmerman’s call you will hear the following starting from the sound of his door open
1) His door opens 2:10
2) His door shuts 2:14
3) A windy noise as if he’s jogging or running. You can also here it in his voice that hers at a faster pace than walking 2:20
4) The dispatcher asked him if he’s following him
5) Zimmerman answers “Yes”
3) Hear the wind noise stops 2:44
4) The remaining dialog is a casual exchange between the dispatcher and Zimmerman discussing meeting locations. And when I say casual I mean there is no signs of him running in pursuit. 2:44 – 4:11
3 seconds shy of 2 minutes pass from the time the door shuts and the call ends. The struggle and shooting happened lest than a 20 second walk from Zimmerman’s truck. There was plenty of time for Trayvon to have gone home and call the Cops. The evidence suggests Trayvon was there by choice.
This brings us to the final conflict. Trayvon had no injuries apart from a superficial mark on his pinky. All witnesses except for one say Zimmerman was on bottom. The one witness that contradicted the rest says she saw Zimmerman shoot Trayvon in the back while being on top. This is obviously false since there was no exit wound and the shot went into his chest. Zimmerman had multiple injuries on his hear. How major they were is debatable. The evidence shows a minum of 3 impacts on concrete and a minimum of 1 blunt impact to the face. The evidence suggests Trayvon was the aggressor.
Everything else is speculation like who was screaming and who approached who.
Aren't you conveniently leaving out the dispatcher's observation re: following/shadowing: "We don't need you to do that." I hope the family sues in civil court for wrongful death. That alone will fix liability and produce a verdict for damages. Good luck getting that family to pay the millions.
Nothing convenient about it. Simply missed getting it in the post and somehow scrabbling the numbers.
1) His door opens 2:10
2) His door shuts 2:14
3) A windy noise as if he’s jogging or running. You can also hear it in his voice that hers at a faster pace than walking 2:20
4) The dispatcher asked him if he’s following him
5) Zimmerman answers Yes 2:24
6) Dispatcher – We don't need you to do that. 2:26
7) Hear the wind noise stops 2:44
8) The remaining dialog is a casual exchange between the dispatcher and Zimmerman discussing meeting locations. And when I say casual I mean there is no signs of him running in pursuit. 2:44 – 4:11
It's not illegal to follow someone. There is no case unless they can prove Zimmerman cornered Trayvon or started the physical altercation.
I didn't know about the Hannity interview. Then again, I usually have something more important to do when he is on TV - like washing my socks. Since this was part of god's plan, I have to ask the question. WCWJU? (What caliber would Jesus use?)
Probably a small caliber, Pat, because of course hurricanes and tornadoes are far more effective for large-scale smiting.
Vitomama, I suspect you're right. Save the tornadoes and hurricanes for smiting all the good Christians because gay people live 1,000 miles away from them.
Oh my god, Pat. I split my damn sides reading that. Is there a niche for atheist standup comedians in America?
Reading everything so far, I have to agree with you, Booklover, and Loren. It could have all been prevented if Zimmerman had of done as he was told and stayed in his car. He did not do so, and Treyvon Martin is now dead. Certain other things in this case puzzle me. "Martin looks like he is up to no good. He has his hands in his pockets. He is just walking along. It's raining and he is not running. He looks like he is on drugs or something."
Let's go from there into the fact that Zimmerman knows Martin does not live here, and yet Zimmerman cannot recall the street or house number as Martin passes a house that has been broken into more than once in the past. If your memory is that bad (and we know this must have made the newspapers about the previous break ins) how could you possibly say that young Martin does not live here?
At another point I'm hearing that Zimmerman is scared because Martin is aware of his presence and is walking around his car. Later, Zimmerman admitted that he was not afraid to follow Martin because he had his cell phone. Did he not have his cell phone when he was in his car? I'm sorry. This is so obvious. Zimmerman was not afraid because he had his GUN. This weapon that he had "forgotten about" is really the bottom line. How can you "forget" that you are carrying a weapon?
When others disagree with the above, I simplify it all. You have 2 men who get into a fist fight, and only 1 of them has a gun. One of the 2 men ends up dead and shot to death, so we call this "self defense." Something is missing here!
In the courtroom I'm seeing stupid things from the attorneys in questioning Dr. Bao, the ME in this case. They start out by wanting to discredit what he says because he is reading from his notes. How is he supposed to remember everything? What is the problem when he is the one who did the autopsy in the first place? At best, this is all from over a year ago, so certainly the man would have notes. Why don't we just blindfold him and play "pin the tail on the donkey?" The attorneys go deeper into trying to discredit Dr. Bao by asking him other questions that he cannot answer because they are so obviously out of his field of expertise. Why does the judge allow such nonsense?
I'm sorry. Everything is not just a "yes" or "no" question. I wouldn't make a good juror in this case and I would be called a "hostile witness."
My sympathies to the Martin family for this tragedy, but again, we have an example of religion being the "opiate of the people." When Mrs. Martin is asked about her children, she replies and also names young Treyvon as one of them, saying that "he now lives in heaven." The truth is that he is very dead, he does not live, and he is in the ground! This senseless violence that took a young life could have all been prevented.
Another point is that Zimmerman is an adult. Martin was a minor. Zimmerman had HORRIBLE judgement at the VERY least.