One more time: The Trayvon Martin story is a tragedy but this cover does a disservice to the truth.
The prosecutors said George Zimmerman just pulled out a gun and shot Trayvon Martin but they they offered no proof and the proof that was introduced into trial showed that theory was false. The jury, correctly, didn’t buy it.
The defense used the the telephone time line to show there were four minutes that lapsed between time they parted and when Trayvon came back and the fight began.
Zimmerman defense attorney Don West said anyone who watched the trial knows they put on the case and “proved our client was innocent because the prosecution [whose job it is to put on a case], didn’t.”
I wish Zimmerman had just watched and observed and waited for the cops but what he did was not illegal.
Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara said at the post verdict news conference in the last :45 seconds Trayvon Martin had more control over the situation than did George Zimmerman.
Please see all my posts below.
George Zimmerman defense attorneys Mark O’Mara and Don West both contend that the shooting of Trayvon Martin had everything to do with self defense and nothing to do with civil rights violations. In fact, O’Mara contends that using the Zimmerman case to try and make a civil rights cause celebre out of it will backfire on Martin supporters.
In the post verdict news conference O’Mara claimed that Zimmerman was never “guilty of anything except protecting himself in self defense.” West added that he thought the prosecution of Zimmerman was in itself “disgraceful.”
O’Mara predicted problems for civil rights activists if they used this case as a rallying cry (see it at 20:56) during his news conference last night,
I kept saying a year ago that I really hope that they don’t. I kept suggesting to Mr. Crump on three separate occasions that we not make this the civil rights case of the century because it’s just not. It’s just not. Did it bring to the forefront the conversation that young black males are treated a certain way in the criminal justice system? Absolutely! Is that positive? Absolutely! Do we need to have that conversation? Absolutely! However, if portending that conversation on top of the Zimmerman verdict is going to affect that ability to have that conversation then shame on them because that conversation needs to be had and now it may not be had because we have sort of artificially separated the two camps, if you will, over this verdict. This verdict still has nothing to do with civil rights.
Making the rounds today is this graphic of where Stand Your Ground or self defense laws exist and where they refer to them as Kill at Will states.What’s the old saying? I’d rather be judged by 12 (in this case 6) than carried by six? These people won’t be happy until all victims refuse to fight back.
For those of you who didn’t bother to watch or read about the trial and its aftermath except to receive as gospel the Rev Al’s talking points about it, both the chief prosecutor and lead attorney for the state said definitively that self defense laws did NOT make it harder to try George Zimmerman AND that they haven’t changed much over the years. See my post on that aspect of the case here.
Prosecutors in the George Zimmerman case were asked by media members last night after the verdict if self defense and Stand Your Ground laws made it more difficult to prosecute him. Both said no and both said in fact that the law in Florida hadn’t changed all that much at all since Stand Your Ground was passed in 2005. So much for that media meme. Still, I know it will come back time and again, so let’s get some quotes out there so even the folks who live on Hawthorne Blvd can understand them.
At 10:06, a reporter from the Miami Herald asks about the Stand Your Ground law.
Reporter: Can you talk about the Florida Stand Your Ground law and whether the changes in 2005 in the law affected the facts in this case and whether this case could have been won, perhaps, pre the changes in the law”
Prosecutor Angela Corey: “Well, justifiable use of deadly force has changed to a certain extent. Stand Your Ground is a procedural mechanism as we call it where we fully expected it because of what we were hearing that the defense would request a Stand Your Ground hearing, we would have put on the same evidence. It would have been front of just a judge instead of a jury.
Reporter: What about the duty to retreat aspect?
Prosecutor Corey: Well the duty to retreat aspect had sort of disappeared before Stand Your Ground kicked in.
And at 18:45 we have this question asked of Prosecutor De La Rionda,
“Could I get your impression of the 2005 expansion of the Florida self defense statutes? Does this make your job harder?”
Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda, “You know self defense has existed for a long time. And we’ve dealt with it in Jackson for a long time. We’ve tried a lot of self defense cases; I’ve personally tried ten-15 self defense cases. They’re tough cases, but we accept it so… The law really hasn’t changed all that much. Stand Your Ground was a big thing, but really the law hasn’t changed. We have a right to bear arms and a right to self defense.”