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Thursday, April 12, 2012

SECOND DEGREE

While we were otherwise occupied Wednesday the story broke that the State Attorney filed charges of second degree murder against George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. 


Zimmerman surrendered and is in custody. The NY Times coverage is here. 


Thoughts? 


Does this case spell the end of stand your ground in Florida? 


47 comments:

DS sez: said...

I am still pissed / insulted by the Anon of 4/11/12 407pm's comment, so I repeat my reply post:

407 pm
F-U .
First, I work For PD11 and can Not do outside criminal work. Matter of Fact I am limited as to any outside work or honorarium [sic? ] I can take.
Second , Your an Ass to imply that If Zimmermann had a PD or RCA Attorney he would get second rate representation. Why dont you just say we are not real Attorneys, but Public Pretenders.

DS

Anonymous said...

Appropriate. Now let's stop talking about it and let the system work.

Anonymous said...

If zimmerman did not have his gun drawn when he approached nolimit_nigga, and he has cuts to the back of the head- he will walk.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to file against Tanya Brinkley???????????????

Anonymous said...

The filing of charges does not mean anything about the viability of a SYG defense. Zimmerman will file a pretrial motion, which the trial court will consider. If the trial court denies it, Zimmerman will appeal. If the appeal is denied, the he'll still get the justifiable use of deadly force jury instruction. Hopefully in the end, this vigilante will be convicted and the legislature will reevaluate SYG. But the mere filing of charges has no impact on the defense itself.

Anonymous said...

At least his new lawyer seems to have a clue about what he is doing. As for stand your ground, it will be interesting to see what a judge will do when the inevitable motion is filed.

Kissimmee Kid said...

"Interesting to see. . ."

No, the judge will do what they always do, deny the motion and let the jury decide.

And before you call me cynical, isn't that the freaking glory of the system. Jurys may suck, but, they are a damm sight better than the parade of rubber-stamp judges that line the corridor of history as far back as the mind can comprehend.

Anonymous said...

I have watched yesterday's news conference several times online and have determined that Angela Corey is Bob Pardo in drag.

Anonymous said...

Martin should still be alive because Zimmerman should never have singled him out as suspicious based solely upon race and he should have listed to 911 and stopped following him.

BUT

If that is all Zimmerman did and Martin took such offense to it that he (1) broke Zimmerman's nose and (2) jumped on top of Zimmerman and started bashing the back of Zimmerman's head into the concrete - Zimmerman should not be convicted of anything.

Really - is there anybody that would say Martin's reaction was appropriate?

What if Zimmerman was unarmed and ended up dead from head injuries - should Martin have not been prosecuted.

The facts will sort themselves out, but does anybody credibly believe that Martin knew Zimmerman had a gun and he decided to attack Zimmerman in self defense?

This was clearly an angry young man, who had had problems in school, who overreacted to somebody stereotyping him inappropriately and who should still be alive today, but for his violence.

Stand your ground law or not, Zimmerman had a right to defend himself from having his head bashed through the concrete.

But, thanks to people like Reverend Al, Fredericka Wilson and other racists who will side with African Americans, no matter what the facts, if there is an acquittal, get ready for the riots.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to an interesting analysis concluding that the Stand Your Ground law is irrelevant in Zimmerman's case:

http://volokh.com/2012/03/27/floridas-self-defense-laws/

I have no experience with that law. Can anyone confirm the analysis, or explain why it is wrong?

Thanks.
PS You rock, DS. Stay pissed, my friend!

Anonymous said...

This case will be around for at least 2 years. First they'll litigate a motion to change venue. Then they'll litigate the SYG motion which will be appealed by whichever party the judge rules against.

All the while, SYG will be debated by the legislature, the public, and the douche bag talking heads on TV. It'll be very interesting to see what the state Republicans do on this. In the end, I doubt they'll have the balls to take a stand against the NRA freaks.

4813 said...

C'mon, acquittal! It's been a while since we had a good riot around here. Those FTAA protests were weak - not even one building burned to the ground. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

DS----stop worrying about 4:07. Obviously, he or she knows nothing about the system. The senior PD's are as good or better than the private attorneys. You're an excellent lawyer and owe 4:07 nothing.

BTDT

Real FORMER JUDGE said...

As a Former Judge, the trial judge in the Zimmerman case will be scared to death in granting the Defendant's motion to dismiss the charges on Stand Your Ground ... and I mean literally scared to death. Al Sharpton would be in front of his or her house protesting for weeks ... and they would have an opponent in their next election.

Another reason why lifetime tenure, as in the Federal courts, helps define true justice.

swlip said...

I don't see how this would spell the end of SYG.

I'd be interested in knowing whether Zimmerman relied on a media mischaracterization of what SYG allows. I doubt he reads Fred Grimm, but the St. Pete Times has been beating that same drum for years. If so, then Trayvon's family might have a lawsuit for negligent misrepresentation.

Anonymous said...

DS,

See my response in yesterday's comment section and calm down.

The Straw Buyer said...

This is going to become Sharpton's next Tawana Brawley.

DS sez: said...

1030, yo said
This was clearly an angry young man, who had had problems in school, who overreacted to somebody stereotyping him inappropriately and who should still be alive today, but for his violence.
Imagine your 17 , in a strange neighborhood , vistiting your dad, and an unknown weird looking guy follows you, gets out of his car to confront you. Your scared ( per his GF on the phone w/ him). Your from Miami, so you have been told about being ware of strangers, perverts who could kidnap and rape and then kill you.
Guys comes up, its gettintg dark, your scared and you react .
Mr. Martin may have just reacted to being scared by Zimmermann.
ALL THIS is JUst a BIG Mistake, that cost a 17 year old kid his life.
DS

Anonymous said...

Since DS felt the need to reprint his internalization of my question, not directed at him, his office or his colleagues in his office, I repeat my answer:

Don't take my comments so personally. Get off your high horse and set aside your narcissitic self-absorbtion and read on.

I agree with later comments that there are many members of your office that I would gladly hire to handle my defense, if they were in private practice.

But, do you know the quality of the attorneys in the PD office for the 9th Circuit? I do. Do you know if their budget is adequate to deal with a case that will require extraordinary effort and attention? It is not. Do you know whether the PD, an elected official, is one who is susceptible to political or community pressure? Yes, he is.

I am not angry as one comment asks. I am concerned that those, who espouse such conviction and faith in the system, run and hide when standing up for those principals puts them in financial harm's way. Jeff Samack was my friend. I saw what the Fuester case did to him. (That BTDT is how long I have been around and how I know about what I am writing.) It killed him sooner than he needed to die. He suffered greatly and it is only years after his death that we recognize his sacrifice.

What effect do you think it would have on the case, if someone like an HT Smith stood up and said that this is not a "Black and White" issue, but simply an alleged crime where the alleged victim is black and the defendant is white and he resultantly takes part in Zimmerman's defense? I think it would make a huge statement about who we are and what we stand for.

This is about educating the public that justice is not a specific result. It is about the system and what it is supposed to do. When I hear phrases like: "We want justice for Trayvon." "Let's start with an arrest." It smacks of a lynch mob mentality and the infamous Judge Roy Bean: "First we'll give a fair trial, then we'll hang him."

I am not saying Zimmerman is innocent. I am saying he is innocent until proven guilty. And that is justice.

As to BTDT:

I have been around a lot longer than you, and I know what I am talking about. In this case you have not "Been There or Done That." So stop pandering and pay attention. You might actually learn something, you grandiose know it all.

4:07

Anonymous said...

yawn.....

Anonymous said...

1. DS is 100% correct. Many (not all) of the PD's are 1000 times better than the privates. They are in court every day and go to trial more than the private could ever hope to.

2. If you're so upset about people not filing against this person or that person, then GO FILE TO RUN YOURSELF AND SHUT THE F UP!

3. How in the world is Eiglarsh a commentator on all these radio and news shows. Today I actually heard him say to that dumbass Jimmy Cefalo and his kiss ass yes-man Manny Munoz that 2d degree murder (w/ a FA as in this case) has no mandatory sentence. His behavior on TV in the Casey Anthony commentary should have warranted a bar complaint. He is a glory hound.

CAPTAIN said...

DS:

As I understand it, he was 75 feet from the house he was returning to - have you heard these facts? If so, seems like he might have continued walking and just gone home. Or said to Zimmerman, hey I am staying with my father and his girlfriend and they live right there (pointing). Again, don't know all the facts, no one does.

Thoughts?

CAPTAIN said...

The Captain Reports:

I heard Martin's mother say on the Today show this morning that she believed the shooting "was an accident".

Do you think that was heartfelt?

Or do yo think that was Benjamin Crump talking through his client?

Remember, that Mr. Crump is the wrongful death attorney in this case and he wants money from the only deep pockets available here. That would be the homeowners policy of Zimmerman and the property liability policy of the homeowners association. A negligent act would certainly be covered under those policies, thus the statement "accident" this morning.

Thoughts?

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

10:22: there is no need to insult Bob Pardo like that. Bob is a nice looking guy.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Cap is screening the responses. What is the matter Cap, no one is supposed to contradict or put BTDT in his/her place. Print my response.

4:07

Anonymous said...

Here is the ultimate fact:

There is only one person alive who knows exactly what happened that night. George Zimmerman.

Unless the physical evidence is wholly inconsistent with his version of the events, how can they convict him, unless his statement is somehow incriminating?

Anonymous said...

Captain, I love your cynisism

Anonymous said...

DS -

I don't buy the girlfriend's account - the phone should have remained on if her story is true...I suppose the phone records and 911 calls will back up the timing...but even if she is telling the truth...

You are telling me that it is acceptable to attack a stranger who you think may be following you...because you are from Miami?

How is that self defense?

So do I get to haul off and hit anybody that now approaches me at night?

What about plain clothed security guards in the Wal Mart parking lot?

What about homeless dudes asking for money in front of the REGJB after I leave court???

How about the strange looking dude following me in the alley behind Lost Weekend as I'm walking to my car who ends up just being a PD crying because his girlfriend is hooking up with a strapping ASA (okay, I stole his GF, but so what?)?

Can I viciously attack those people and not expect them to defend themselves?

My point is that the fight never should have happened, but it did.

Once it started, the guy had a right to defend himself, unless you think having your head bashed against concrete is not a basis for self defense.

Self-hating whites and people who think all white people are prejudiced don't believe that Martin did any of that - nor do they recognize that he may be a little more violent than the picture of him as a boy (very old picture) portrays.

Of Course nobody is looking at this based upon appearances, so why does it matter whether the press puts up a picture of an innocent looking boy, or a dude with a grill advocating violence against others on Twitter?

CAPTAIN said...

to 4:07 PM:

Jeffrey SAMACK was a "friend of yours"? If so, then you would know that

Jeffrey SAMEK is how he spelled his name. Jeffrey was a friend of mine, I knew Jeffrey Samek, and you sir, are no Jeffrey Samek.

What does the quality of the PD's office in the 9th Circuit have to do with this case? Zimmerman hired a private attorney, board certified, practicing for 30 years. He is in good hands.

Would you like half the criminal defense bar in Miami to drop their practice and move to Orlando and help Mr. O'Mara out just to prove a point?

To 2:57 PM:

The Second Degree Murder charge, by itself, FS 782.04, does NOT have a MM sentence. (Remember one could kill without a firearm and be charged and convicted of second degree murder).

Only when the State adds the separate FS 775.087 to the Information does that add the elements under 10-20-LIFE and the case becomes one where, if convicted of Second Degree Murder, as charged, he would then have to receive at least 25 years.

Cap Out .....

CAPTAIN said...

Query:

To Abe Laeser ....

I am wondering whether you ever met with the victim's family in a homicide case, for the first time, and before you did anything else, you immediately sat down and prayed with them?

Did you hear Ms. Corey make that statement during her press conference yesterday? Your thoughts on that?

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

Are you saying the law permits me to follow, harrass threaten an unarmed child and then shoot and kill him if i start losing a fight i instigated?

Anonymous said...

No Abe did not pray with victims. He was too professional to do that.

I have to wonder what I would have done if when I was a prosecutor, some victim came in and asked me to pray with him or her?

Anonymous said...

Cap,

I apologize for the spelling error, but, yes, Jeff was my friend. I would never claim to be anywhere near as principled as Jeff was, although I wish I were. I have stated so to his son on more than one occassion. Stick that one in your self-righteous egomaniacal craw and chew on it.

The debate was reframed by DS as being about my so-called criticism of PD's in general and taken personally by him. In my response I was trying to point out that the criticism of the PD in that Circuit was fair.

But you go ahead and take it out of the context it was intended, if it somehow makes you feel better about yourself.

Yes, Zimmerman has private counsel. And yes, I would like to see someone step up, not half the private bar of Miami-Dade. Yet another exageration to avoid the issue I really was raising.

If there was ever a guy who is the target of a formalized lynching, it is Zimmerman. My ultimate point was that justice is not the result of the process, but the process itself.

And what is wrong with proving a point. If I could go help, I would, but I can't. Not because I am afraid, but because I literally can not.

I may not be a Jeffrey Samek, but because you can not see past your own feelings of superiority, you sir are no Rumpole.

Anonymous said...

Mark,

Cefalo and his kiss-ass was asking you whether there was a mandatory sentence in the ZIMMERMAN case and you said NO. Don't try (disguised as the Captain) to make it look as though you meant to say that 2d degree w/o a FA was what you were talking about. Cefalo, Munoz, and the regular joes who don't practice criminal law don't know the difference and they THINK you're an expert. Study a little before you make your media appearances.

Anonymous said...

4:07........I see that you're walking back your comments on the PDs and appreciate that. I am amused, however, at how you're attacking those of us who were offended by them. Take your own advice and think about what you said. You sound like a smart guy; you should understand our responses.

BTDT

PS---I find it your comments about our supposedly not stepping forward amusing as well. What are you doing? Are you a lawyer? Why don't you handle the case. Most of us have families and can't afford the financial hit of committing the time necessary to handle a case like this pro bono. That makes us bad guys? Laughable.

Anonymous ASA said...

If I was Zimmerman's attorney I'd honestly file a speedy demand ASAP. The SYG will be denied out of fear, and the appeal will be upheld. State won't get it's ducks in a row and honestly, this comes down to the jury believing Zimmerman or not.

Anonymous said...

Where is the FAKE Real Former Judge?

Underpaid ASA said...

Speedy demand all day... Totally agree that's the best strategy. While I'm commenting on this blog for the first time I just want to say that that PD commenting earlier is a little whining bitch. That is all..

Kissimmee Kid said...

Do you Miami lawyers think you can come up here to Florida with your shiney suits and big city ways and get a verdict other than guilty?

Really, lawyers from Orlando get run out of Seminole and Brevard, how do you think some city slicker is going to fair. Our jurors aint your jurors.

Anonymous said...

Isn't "profiling" a term usually reserved for when law enforcement officers stop someone based on their race or perceived skin color or nationality?

Is it illegal for a private citizen to profile another private citizen?

I guess the prosecutor is saying that this is a "hate crime" in way too many words. Methinks the charging document contained way too inflammatory words, solely to appease the public.

Even Trayvon's mom thinks this was an accident.

My guess? Zimmerman pleas to something less than what he is charged with. Maybe he does a bit of time, but not too much.

DS sez: said...

I was responding to 1030s statement;
Really - is there anybody that would say Martin's reaction was appropriate?

I could see a senerio where his actions are 'understandable' for a 17 year old buy in a strange neighborhood, approached by a stranger in an aggressive manor( law enforsement style) and reacting from fear.
407:
I usuallly have a thick skin about PD comments, hear so many from clients and their family.'I/we could only aford a REAL lawyer he'd be out, you work for/with the State,But from Attorneys who have been around it is insulting.
No I do not know the APDs in the
9th Circuit.I do assume like any good Lawyer, they would want to win. That the PD would assign their best to the case.
I do agree it does seem like mob justice , lets just string him up, and his lawyer.
DS

Anonymous said...

There are good and bad attorneys at the PD's office just like there are good and bad attorneys anywhere else. Move on....

Anonymous said...

4:07 here. BTDT - personal point well taken and I stand appropriatley redressed. Yes, I am a member of the Florida Bar, but I can not offer my services, and it is not because of money.

DS - I have no doubt that any PD would not be a PD, if they did not want to win, and did not want to do the best they can.

However with all that said, let me ask one question - Do you think you are a better lawyer than some in your office? If so, that is what concerned me about the 9th office. I know that office and as dedicated as they are, they don't have the experience and the abilities of many of the PD's here. As Einstein said: "Everything is relative."

This guy needs, and hopefully with Mara will get, a top notch defense. It is highly unlikely anyone can win a "stand your ground" motion. No judge (and here is the problem with electing them) with any human thought process is going to take on the responsibility of setting Zimmerman free, when he/she can pass it on to a jury.

This is a trial. A trial with as much, if not more, emotion than we have seen (including Kasey Anthony) in a long time. With this particular State Attorney, it will be a rockem' sockem' knock-down battle, because she will pull out all of the stops and employ every resource available to her.

How about voice recognition for the scream? Who was screaming on the phone? Was it Zimmerman? Was it Martin? How about forensics and reconstruction of the events? You see what I mean? This is going to be very expensive and time consuming on both sides.

As we said in Chicago in 1968: "The whole world is watching!"

Anonymous said...

The Return of the Onion Peeler and his take on the Zimmerman case: A neighborhood watchman tired of crime in the community he lives in, a cop wannabe with a concealed firearm permit, approaches an unknown black teen in his complex where he has the tacit approval of the management of the complex to do crime watch. He has contacted local police 46 times and has never used his gun.The teen confronts the plain clothes guard about why he is being followed. He is a black teen from one of the worst crime ridden counties in the nation and from Miami Gardens, a 3 bedroom ranch house community, all black that looks harmless but is like east LA, full of murder and drivebys. He probably has known friends killed, maybe been a violent crime victim himself(probably), and more likely than not notwithstanding no conviction record probably has done some "things". He was wearing a hoodie and call is profiling but nice decent well mannered men do not have their "pants on the ground" and wear hoodies and get into a fight and beat up a man because he approached him while he was walking at night at a complex the watch man knows he does not live at. Zimmerman was beaten. Zimmerman appears to be angry, may have profiled based on what 911 call says, probably frustrated and who isn't anxious to use a gun if they go through the trouble to buy one and get training and a concealed weapons permit. I don't want to have to use a gun on someone so I don't carry one. These 2 forces converge and a tragedy occurs, 40 times a day in the good old US of A, 15000 a year. You'll notice that the Reagan shooting in 1981 did not lead to gun control, the Taylor murder case did not lead to it so perhaps this is the case where the nation is finally getting fed up with gun violence and will do something about it. It is nice to see the African American community finally starting to demonstrate sincere frustration with the hundreds of African Americans murdered every year by gun violence. The elephant in the room is that the number one cause of death for a black male in the U.S. under age 25 is murder, usually by another African-American. If it takes the racial overtones of this case, the shooter multiracial white/Hispanic to finally get the African American community off their asses and stop tolerating murder in their community then that will be the only good to come out of this case. One piece of good news is that attorney O'Mara has class and will not turn this case into the circus the Anthony case was, however the odds are the money will run out and he will end up with court appointed counsel 3 years from now, or O'Mara will be fired if he does not do something Zimmerman wants. Zimmerman will be a difficult client because he has already talked too much, to Sean Hannity, the police, the prosecutor, and has probably given more evidence to the state from his own mouth that existed from the shooting which had perhaps 2 partial witnesses. Only a great attorney will know what strings to pull to avoid a trial and get a plea of 8 years for manslaughter and I do not think O'Mara is in the great league, he is a starter on a pro team but not an all-star. Zimmerman needs an all-star. Onion out. P.S. Prediction: manslaugher plea , 10 years prison.

Anonymous said...

4:07........I appreciate the thoughtful response and understand and am tempted to agree with your latest comments re how the case plays out. There are some judges out there, however, who would do the right thing. Who knows if one will decide this case.

Tough situation with no right answer. I remain convinced that the law needs to be rewritten and narrowed.

BTDT

PS---you peaked my curiousity regarding your comment about why you can't take the case. Are you a government lawyer?

Anonymous said...

When Zimmerman caught up with trayvon, he grabbed him, and trayvon hit him. When z was getting the downside, he got mad, pulled the gun, and threatened the kid. The kid called for help. Z was pissed and lost it. Why? Because he doesn't even meet the standards of the typical sociopathic, not so bright, bully cop sufficient to get into a police academy. And, by the way, the cops could have avoided all of this by telling Z not to pursue him instead of saying "you do not have to do that.". Shame we have to lose two kids over this.

Anonymous said...

BDTD

At one time some years ago I was a government lawyer. However, my present endeavors do not permit me to take on private defense cases.

4:07

PS This is getting to be such a regular event, maybe I should take on a nom de plume.