Martin Family attorney Benjamin Crump (left) (courtesy msnbc)

“A judge Tuesday refused to delay the June 10 trial of George Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder in the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin,” usatoday.com reports. More to the point, “Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, at a hearing on motions ahead of the trial, also ruled that lawyers can’t mention Trayvon’s school records, past fights, marijuana use, ownership of gold teeth, or any photos or text messages found on the teen’s phone.” The toxicology report showing Martin had smoked dope on the night in question? Also out. That said . . .

Nelson said she reserves the right to change the ruling during the trial if lawyers open the door to such issues. However, she said that she can’t imagine that any of these issues would be relevant.

In other words, if the Prosecution starts delving into George Zimmerman’s past, Martin’s history of dope smoking, gun handling, street fighting and school skipping are fair game.

How this behavior is not relevant—given that identifying the person who threw the first punch is a critical consideration for the jury—is above my pay grade. You might say that Judge Nelson is gaming the trial to assure a particular outcome but I couldn’t possibly comment.

She also also granted the following motions:

• State motions to prohibit witnesses from offering their opinions about Zimmerman’s guilt, the proper punishment he should receive for his actions, and from telling the jury to disregard the law.

• A state motion to compel George Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie Zimmerman, to testify at a deposition, but Nelson said Shellie can take the Fifth and prosecutors will have to submit their questions in writing to the court and Nelson will decide if Shellie has to answer those specific questions.

• A motion to keep George Zimmerman from testifying about his lack of prior felony convictions.

• A defense motion to keep the identities of potential and actual jury members anonymous. Potential jurors will be referred to by numbers. Nelson said other issues will be dealt with once jury selection is underway.

At a press conference, the Martin family lawyers pronounced themselves satisfied with today’s rulings, saying that the images and text aren’t evidence. The trial’s due to start June 10. Florida just got a little hotter.

 

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169 Responses to BREAKING: Judge Rules Out Evidence of Trayvon Martin’s Dope Smoking, Gun Handling, Street Fights and Delinquency. For Now.

  1. GZ’s lawyer already put that stuff out there in the court of public opinion. Good luck finding a juror that hasn’t already seen that info.

    • However, before the jury goes in to deliberations, the judge gives them the law, and they must follow what the judge says. So if the judge says they cannot use any information that was not presented in court, they really cannot use it. Half of them might think about it, but they cannot discuss it with each other or use it to convince other jurors to go along with a certain decision. They also will have to explain how they came to their final decision. And if one or two people even discuss it when they are in deliberations, there are 10 or 11 who will remind them that they cannot.

      I have been on four juries in two states and I know what I’m talking about. (And yes, two were criminal trials.)

      • They will NOT have to explain how they came to their final decision:

        Amendment 7 – Trial by Jury in Civil Cases.

        … no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

        • Okay, maybe not in Florida. I was on JD in NJ and MD. However, don’t you think many of them will be interviewed (probably for money) by every TV station in the country? Still, the major discussions they have will be inside the Jury Room.

  2. Makes me wonder if he was going to “share” that .38 at the range, or use it for some other perfectly legal purpose.

  3. The street fighting stuff you can make a case for; various tweets and past pot usage are a harder sale to me, because the tweets basically amount to trash talking among friends. The street fighting is relevant here given that this was a violent confrontation; evidence he’d been in those before (particularly if he instigated them) is relevant, but him toking up at home or talking a bit of trash with his buddies isn’t as clearly relevant to the trial.

    • I think the part where they talk about buying a gun with somebodys else money to store on someone else house since they cant have it on his. Seems relevant.

      • It’s not relevant to anything that happened that night. The biggest murdering scvmbag in the world can be wrongfully killed.

  4. This decision was a given. They’re running scared down there; that race riots will break out in absence of a guilty verdict. The rest, have already made up their minds anyway.

    • Standby for race riots then. Based on what I’ve read about the case, it’s unlikely he’ll get convicted of murder. He should’ve been charged with manslaughter, but all the race bating a$$clowns that went down there upped the ante, so a he got charged with murder.

      • The only thing that is going to save Zimmerman at this point is white members of the jury. Otherwise, given the conduct of the POTUS and Attorney General of Florida, this dude is screwed, burned on the pyre of reverse, revenge racism.

        • J&D, when I discussed this case with some high-profile NY lawyers, we all agreed that jury selection is the whole case. And the jury doesn’t have to be white to acquit or black to convict (even though that’s the way to bet).

          White liberals still suffering from white guilt will not hesitate to convict. Blacks who have experience all to much black-on-black crime will be sympathetic to the neighborhood watch captain.

          Hispanic jurors? Who knows.

        • Agree Ralph, except this is central Florida. Just about any white on the jury is all Zimmerman needs. Race is a lot clearer down here. Segregation is legally over, but in reality, not so much.

        • “Otherwise, given the conduct of the POTUS and Attorney General of Florida, this dude is screwed, burned on the pyre of reverse, revenge racism.”

          Joke & Dagger, don’t ever say that. The term “reverse racism” requires the assumptions that racism stems solely from people with pale skin tone and is their “natural” mindset. That’s demonstrably not true in both particulars. Call it what it is:

          “…burned on the pyre of racism.”

      • They will reduce the charges. That was obvious from the minute they charged him with 2D murder. He will likely be found guilty but of a lesser charge.

  5. I would like to think that at some point, TM’s “attorneys” will bring up what a choir boy he was, and that that would open the door for rebuttal.

    • Ah yes, young Trayvon “No limits nigga” Martin. He was well on his way to becoming such a fine young adult and contributor to societal well-being. Whatever shall we do without him?

      *Le sigh*

      • It really does not matter what Trayvon ever did. He had no juvenile record so anything other than what happened that night is irrelevant. And whatever he might have done does not qualify for the death penalty, which is how he paid that night.

        • No, I’m saying that it seems that whatever TM might have ever done in his life, he did not deserve to die for it. Especially when the executioner had also set himself up as law enforcement, judge and jury.

        • Nobody got executed.
          An aggressor got himself killed & now it’s up to the courts to make an attempt to decide whether his killing was justified.
          Or do you consider yourself in some way more able to make that decision than a court of law?

        • Unless the last thing he did in his life was try to kill somebody else, or act in such a way as to make that somebody else think he was trying to kill them.

          If you and I were in that situation, and I was that “somebody else” that you appeared to be trying to kill, I’d be more than happy to act as your judge and jury. You might even say I was in a unique position to do so.

        • Trayvon Martin is not on trial. George Zimmerman is. He is entitled to put on the best defense possible, up to and including that he was defending himself against a thug with a propensity for burglary, drugs, and violence.

          This is a self-defense case, after all. How is it that a judge is not allowing evidence that indicates George was defending himself against a potential criminal?

          The judge is rail-roading Zimmerman, plain and simple.

    • AZRon, you nailed it. The evidence can still be used to impeach. But the prosecution would be stupid to put Martin’s character into issue? It’s irrelevant.

  6. If it comes to it, this will be Zimmerman’s “Get out of jail free” card. The appellate trial should last about 5 minutes before any guilty verdict is overturned.

    Let the riots begin!

    • Zimmerman’s attorneys have not used his get out of jail free card yet, for some reason. Florida has a “Stand Your Ground” hearing process, which his attorneys have never requested. I suspect a long, nationally televised trial is more lucrative in fame and future earnings.

      • J&D, I suspect that they waived the hearing for two reasons. First, they wanted to play their cards a bit close to the vest. Why disclose their case? Second, the SYG law didn’t give them a big advantage.

        SYG provides that a defender doesn’t have an obligation to retreat and has immunity from arrest. The defense position is that GZ couldn’t retreat because he was on his back, and since he was arrested the immunity provision doesn’t mean much either.

        I think that plain old self-defense will be GZ’s defense.

        • You are prob right. I also suspect though that the only party not interested in a big trial is Zimmerman.

  7. Jurors can be found who will claim that they are ignorant of such character reports about TM in the media. I now await the insights of Ralph the Renowned to share his wisdom with us.

      • Dirk,

        You’re a defense lawyer aren’t you? What do you think about the ruling and what might occur?

        BTW, msnbc is now featuring a pic of Martin at about 13 years of age.

        • I am an inhouse lawyer for a major defense contractor. I have defense lawyers in the family so with that said, the ruling was expected. The judge basically warned the prosecutors that if they try to show GZ character in their case or if anyone says TM was a choirboy, it comes in. Otherwise, it is not relevant to show he was a weed head thug wannabe.

        • Of course. It’s been months since NBC got caught editing details and falsifying the story. Surely the drooling savages in fly-over country have let that incident slip out of their tiny brains by now… Back to business as usual!

        • Dirk,

          Thanks for your reply. IMO, it seems that the mass media has saturated the public, since the fight and killing, with extensive TM good and GM bad Ms.-Information.

    • If they ask the potential jurors if they’ve seen the stories, they’re obviously limiting themselves to those who will lie about it. There are some, I’m sure, who have no prior knowledge, but in any given jury pool of 40-50, it might be one or two people, tops.

      Besides, in a case like this they don’t ask if you’ve seen the stories, they ask if you can set aside what you’ve seen and make a decision solely based on what you hear in the courtroom. And honestly, though I’ve followed this case closely and do have my own opinions, I think I could do that. Because the truth is, we know very, very little. Obviously I don’t believe anything I’ve heard a “talking head” say, but even the evidence I’ve seen with my own eyes has been pretty slim. I, as a juror, would be interested to see just exactly what they have that I haven’t seen.

      • I think you could do that. Yet, I wonder about many other people who could ethically and objectively set aside what they may have heard previously and then base their verdict on the trial.

      • I think you overestimate the involvement that the average American has with the “news of the day”. If it doesn’t have some coked-up celebrity involved in it, the vast majority aren’t paying attention. The average response to seeing a headline about Martin on their Yahoo news feed or nightly news is likely to be along the lines of, “Trayvon Martin? That shit was like, in 2008 or something, right? Didn’t that dude go to jail already?”, and then they click on the story about Kim Kardashian’s fat ass or some washed-up shithead who got kicked off “The Celebrity Apprentice”.

        Heck, if it weren’t for the fact that the story involves an alleged DGU, most of us here wouldn’t be following it, either.

        • You’re right about the “average American,” but this case took place in the Orlando metro, and is being tried there. I live in Orlando, and I can promise you that every tiny twist and turn in the case is being beaten to death (no pun intended) here. You really would have to live under a rock here to not be at least moderately aware of the case.

  8. Not terribly surprised by this. Frankly I don’t understand why such a big deal is being made about the pot use or gold teeth as neither is directly associated with fighting (if he’d been drunk at the time of the incident, on the other hand…). Ibid to trash talking and even the gun picture; there’s no real context there.

    The only thing that really applies here is Trayvon’s apparent history of fighting, but there’s no official record (no charges or police incidents), so it would be hard to what would almost certainly be considered hearsay as evidence.

    • He was in the neighborhood that night because he had been sent to stay with his father after being suspended from school for assaulting a bus driver. There was also the incident where a school janitor caught him in the building after everyone had left with a bag of assorted jewelry he couldn’t account for. The lawyers tried to have his school records sealed last year, but the horse had already left the barn there.

      (My point being: yes, there are official records; not just hearsay.)

      • I should have been clearer – he had never been charged with or convicted of a violent crime. A school suspension requires no due process. Saying he’d been suspended from school for fighting is, as it applies to a criminal prosecution of the person of shot and killed him, is as relevant as saying he’d been suspended from school for plagiary.

        I don’t think it’s limited to this case, either… I think it’s rare for the character or actions outside of criminal history of a homicide victim to be introduced in a self defense case, and even criminal history may not be relevant.

      • He was suspended from school for having traces of marijuana and a screwdriver in his backpack. (Back in the 1980’s I was called to school because my son had a screwdriver in his pack. He had a scout meeting after school, but the school district was extremely strict and it looks like that has spread to other parts of the country.)

        Don’t you think that if he had punched a bus driver, he would have some kind of juvenile record? Or don’t bus riders and drivers notice anything these days?

        • Guys, this is not my opinion, it’s a matter of fact. Trayvon Martin did not have a criminal record, and it seems that even if he had, it would be standard operating procedure on the judges part to not allow the criminal history of a homicide victim as evidence in a self defense trial.

          Again, this is not my opinion, this is a statement of fact.

  9. At this point the only fair outcome would be for the State of Florida to pay moving Zimmerman and his family to Utah and so he can live in peace after they railroaded him in what is becoming a clearer case of self defense every time new information comes out.

    • Yep. Angela Corey is only moving forward with this nonsense to either prop up her future political aspirations or for fear of charges of “racism” from the usual race baiters. It’s disgusting to see this case even going forward. Her job as prosecutor is to see justice carried out…and if that means that evidence comes to light that’s exculpatory, she is obligated to drop the prosecution.

      • sorta like Judge Ito not having the balls to drop evidence against OJ that was obtained w/out a warrant? Look – the easy answer for an elected official is to punt, which is what the judge here did. No reason to get upset. this is part of the dance.

      • that means that evidence comes to light that’s exculpatory, she is obligated to drop the prosecution

        No. It means that if exculpatory evidence comes to light, she’s obligated to disclose it to the defense. She can still prosecute.

    • Moving Zimmerman to Utah is the best comment yet I’ve seen on this whole drama from day 1.

  10. This ruling was expected. The rule is that the victim can’t introduce the defendant’s criminal record or propensity for violence unless he personally knew about it at the time of the attack.

  11. The whole point of this motion was that the prosecution wants to be able to use Zimmerman’s character to prove his guilt, but to deny the defense use of the same tactic. Martin’s character was sketchy at best just from the evidence that we all have seen, not to mention everything that we are NOT allowed to see.

    I can’t iwait to see the shitstorm of personal lawsuits coming from Zimmerman’s lawyers if this evidence is disallowed and he is convicted….

    • “Martin’s character was sketchy at best just from the evidence that we all have seen…”

      Which part? The part where he mentored young children of other races? Or the part where he was a force behind getting the police chief’s son (I think that’s who it was) to be held accountable for some abuse he committed against a black person? (One of the few non-black faces to be involved in that crusade, I might add.) Or is it the restraining order filed against him by an ex-girlfriend (that appears that it was at least half a strategic RO, not one based in actual concern for her safety)? Or the part where he “assaulted a cop?” (Nevermind that the cop was undercover and was assaulting (i.e. had his hands on) a buddy of GZ’s, and so GZ came to his buddy’s aid, and said cop had at least one instance of not properly identifying himself as law enforcement when he was undercover.)

      Which part of his character was sketchy again?

      • Matt, I think you’ve gotten TM and GZ confused.

        Hobbez said TM’s character was sketchy, not GZ’s.

      • I believe Hobbez (you even quoted it, Matt in FL), wrote, Martin’s character was sketchy at best just from the evidence that we all have seen…” Martin. Trayvon Martin. Not Zimmerman.

        Martin never “mentored young children of other races.” Zimmerman did.

      • Heh. As Rick Perry said, Oops.

        I blame it on my lack of caloric intake today.

        I would like to point out that I wrote 154 words vehemently (and incorrectly) disagreeing with Hobbez without resorting to calling him names, but it took ken in Bucks less than 10 to call me a schmuck. This from someone who would purport to be on the same side as me. Nice.

      • Heh. I posted earlier with a really awesome YouTube clip reference to Rick Perry’s “Oops” from the Presidental debates, but it got spam filtered. Perhaps it will show up eventually.

        I would like to point out that I wrote 154 words vehemently (and incorrectly) disagreeing with Hobbez without resorting to personal attacks, but it took less than 10 for ken in Bucks to call me a schmuck. This from a guy who purports to be on the same side as me, and for making a simple (and in retrospect, painfully obvious) mistake. Nice, huh?

        • That’s the part that made me laugh, Matt. Your flub was obvious and something that any one could have done. Schmucking seems to be gross overkill.

        • That’s why it was so funny. You are usually the biggest stickler for facts around here.

    • I agree with Hobbez, either history on each individual leading up to the confrontation is important or is not important. If I understand, the judge did warn she would permit the defense to introduce history on Martin, if prosecutors introduced history on Zimmerman. Either the judge is under pressure to help the prosecution win their case, or she will honor her ruling to permit the defense to introduce history on Martin. We now know Zimmerman has studied the law on self defense in Florida and ants to become a police officer. I do not think this information necessarily hurts Zimmerman, because he had to know that shooting a person, even if legal under the law, could hurt his changes of re-applying to train as a police officer. Of course, the TV interview played for the jury, showing he was not truthful regarding his knowledge of the Florida law is a problem. Now, that permitting past information on Zimmerman may hurt him, the judge must permit the defense to also introduce past history on Martin that levels the playing field. I was rather shocked to read an autopsy confirmed drug use by Martin, especially after Zimmerman commented on Martin’s appearance and behavior as “being under the influence of drugs.” Zimmerman must now convince the jury he as afraid, even with a desire to become a police officer. This makes Martin’s history of street fights very relevant. Zimmerman was not in an altercation with a random “child going to the market for skittles,” but rather he was attacked by a teen with a history of attacking others and an interest in purchasing an illegal gun. I will be surprise if the defense does not remind the jury of the weight put on by Zimmerman during his year of waiting for trial. Zimmerman was attacked by a teen who was about his same weight and height. In fact, of all the prosecutions case to date, the only possible piece of evidence that might hurt Zimmerman is lying to the TV about his knowledge on Florida’s “stand and protect” law. If the judge does not permit the defense to bring in information on Martin, such as his drug use the night of the fight (i.e., supporting Zimmerman’s observation to the dispatcher), or Martin’s history of multiple street fights, there will be over-turn on appeal. Maybe this is what the Governor of Florida is pushing for with this judge. Zimmerman is nowhere close to guilty of a crime as evident by the original investigating officers, even with one stupid interview. If Zimmerman is found guilty this time, it give the state of Florida another year or two to diffuse the anger generated over the Internet of selective information about a young black teen dying from a gun shot. We need to stop using the Internet as a bully pulpit, and return to a time when experts made a decision. Last week we learned about a 10 year old girl who has suffered through two lung transplants; Half the readers believe adults should always sacrifice to give a child the change of life, while opponents believe the two adult lungs should have been appropriated to four adults still caring for their young children at home. Zimmerman, a man who still wishes a profession in police work, has easily gained 50 pounds from stress, and may yet loose his freedom until an appeal. Piers Morgan, raised in a country where police officers do not carry guns, can only see criminal behavior. An even greater danger to Zimmerman came about when persons who did not agree with investigating officers about self-defense, put up another petition to fight racists killings of young black men. I am guessing Zimmerman was afraid if the TV interviewer told the public of his classwork on the Florida law regarding self-defense, others might conclude he knew how to answer questions. An autopsy confirms Zimmerman’s observation about a young man “acting strangely, like on drugs.” It seems to me, CSI working with law enforcement knew Zimmerman’s answers were backed up by evidence; Martin was on-top of Zimmerman and an officer noted the wet and grass clinging to his back; Zimmerman states he was attacked and he has a bloody nose, ear, and lacerations on his head; Martin has no injuries beyond the single gunshot wound to the chest, recording of dispatch hears Zimmerman’s observations of a stranger behaving oddly, “like on drugs”, and an autopsy report confirms Martin tested positive for illegal drugs. There as backlash against the family who fought and over-turned the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network. There has been harm to the population of this Florida town: 1)Zimmerman has gained significant weight and continues to be afraid his decision to help protect his neighborhood will lead to his loss of freedom: 2) Powers that be in Florida did not support their team of CSI investigators, medical coroner, or officers investigating the case: and, 3) Preparations are being made to handle riots. There is a small bias against young children waiting for lung transplants; and, blacks, Hispanics, and Jews continue to deal with racial profiling even today. I just realize, we have two sets of parents unable to accept the “unfair” world that may have contributed to the dead of a child. Children die, especially waiting for a lung transplant. Black teenagers, especially if under the influence of a street drug, are more likely to raise suspicion ad fear. Each set of parents reacted by fighting our society and encouraging others to join in their anger. Taylor’s Gift, has over two millions strangers signed up to become potential organ doors. If Sarah’s parents really wanted to help the future of pediatric lung transplants, why not a single mention of Taylor’s Gift? Martin’s parents still need to leave the court room when specifics about their child’s death are presented, and witness after witness have supported Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. Both Sarah’s parents and Martin’s parents are living in an imperfect world. Some of noted, up to four adults died to give one child a “chance” at living a few additional years, and so far, each day has been misery for Sarah. Zimmerman has lost his change of working in law enforcement, if he can overcome the notoriety, he will still need to loose the addition 50 pounds of weight. The experts in law enforcement came to a conclusion based on evidence that collaborated a claim of self-defense. If Martin’s parents can focus on the danger of guns, especially concealed weapons, the death of their son might have a positive impact as with Taylor’s gift.

  12. When this first went down, I was firmly in the “string up Zimmerman” camp. Pictures of a 12 year old boy, recordings of Zimmerman apparently saying slurs, what sounded to me like a 12 year old crying for help in one of those recording, and an out of work self appointed neighborhood watch captain apparently out for blood. He never looked caucasion to me, it seemed pretty obvious he was a mix, being one myself.

    Seeing all the real facts come to life, we have a 6 ft 3″ tall fully grown man and what looks like a 5’8″ man who somehow ended up on the ground fighting. None of the racial stuff was true, the media made it up. Zimmerman broke off his pursuit and was walking back to his car. Treyvon was a good 7 inches taller than Zimmerman. I honestly have no clue who the heck was crying in the recording, but I’m fairly sure Treyvon’s voice cracked long ago.

    Did Martin have any scratches on him other than the gunshot wound? It seems like at no time did Zimmerman ever have the upper hand in the struggle, and he certainly didn’t draw on Treyvon until he was on the ground. It seriously looks to me that Martin attacked Zimmerman while he was returning to his car. Hopefully some actual truth comes out in the trial and this isn’t just a kangaroo court to a lynching.

    • “Did Martin have any scratches on him other than the gunshot wound?”

      He had a small scratch on the knuckles of his right hand, and an abrasion on the first ring-finger joint of his left.

  13. I know Treyvon Martin and his family. Not personally, but I know them well, in a sense. I know the type of people they are and they disgust me. I hope justice is served, but I don’t think it can be at this point.

    • I know the family’s lawyers well. They are trial whores/ambulance chasers. I pray they take it on the chin with this case. . . .

      • Saw Crump at the airport a few years ago waiting on his ride. I asked him “Where have you been off raising hell at?” He just kinda looked at me weird.

    • Do you want to share your impressions? Personally, I cannot imagine a worse pain than loosing a child. Some parents, like Taylor’s, are able to remember a child by singing up more than two million potential organ donors on Taylor’s Gift. Other parents, like Sarah and Martin family, focus on blame and anger. Why did Martin’s parents focus on victimizing a son, rather than using grief to impact gun laws being debated in Congress?

  14. If I was walking home at night with my skittles and soda and some hostile, “gun-toting” idiot started following me, I would wish that I was carrying for my own protection. RIP Trayvon. Should have been a DGU. Who cares if he was interested in weed and guns. That describes a large chunk of American teenagers. And gold teeth indicate poor fashion taste but my dear little sister has some of those. Proves nothing.

    • Really? It was a DGU.

      Trayvon was a wannabe gansta who liked to fight. This time he thought he’d put a beat-down on some neighborhood watch mall ninja type. Unfortunately, as he was busy smashing Zimmerman’s nose and bashing his head into the ground the wannabe thug, Trayvon, didn’t think that the guy he was pounding might be armed and in reasonable fear of great bodily harm.

      Act like a thug, get shot like a thug.

        • If they’d both had their guns that night, talk about the ultimate vs. evaluation article.

          As a side note, has the type of ammo GZ used been talked about?

        • I haven’t seen it anywhere, but the photos almost looked like FMJ. They were blurry and from the side and through a plastic bag, though, so I don’t know for sure.

        • I’ve never, ever seen anything on the ammo type. However, the round was fired from essentially straight on, front to back, at a distance of a few inches. The lead core of the slug lodged in the lining on the rear of the heart. Two separated pieces of the copper jacket embedded in the back wall of the chest cavity. There was no exit wound.

          There was no mention in the autopsy report of broken rib bones. Even from a three inch barrel, I’d hope an FMJ would have more penetration than that, and would hold its jacket better.

        • You cant sucker punch a Barney Fife wannabe and then try to crush his head into the ground while straddling him because you believe he followed you (he was the neighborhood watchman) a little to long and asked you a couple questions.
          Are you on drugs or just stupid?

  15. I am sorry but this is the worst lynching I have seen in modern history.
    The only difference between this lynching and those of the past is this one is being carried out in a Kangaroo court.

    The state painted GZ as a violent, stupid, racist police wanna be for months and Treyvon as an innocent, law abiding, average 12 year old looking boy. Yet when evidence comes out that destroys the states story they get it thrown out. Insane insane insane, this is nothing more than an effort by the state to make sure race riots don’t happen in Florida. I would come to expect this kind of justice in New York or California but not my former home of Florida, whats happening over there? They are fast becoming the Colorado of the South.

    • It wasn’t being carried out in a kangaroo court when Spike Lee tweeted what he thought was Zimmerman’s address and cash money was offered for blood vengeance against him. Of course he tweeted the wrong address and a terrified couple cowered in fear of their lives. Lee said he was sorry later, so that’s okay – that’s all the consequences for his attempted lynching.

  16. This is pretty much bread and butter criminal law practice. This kind of stuff is called character evidence, and while character evidence that a defendant wants to raise to bolster his own defense may be admissible, evidence against a victim’s character is usually not – http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_404.

    It makes sense if you think about it. Just because someone is an asshole, racist, or gay does not mean that you are allowed to kill them. I’m not making any judgment or comments about the merits of the prosecution’s case in this story. I’m just saying that the reason that character evidence of the victim is inadmissible in court is that it is completely irrelevant as to whether or not the death of the victim was legally justifiable in a particular instance.

    • Kind of. The evidence was ruled inadmissible because none of that was known to Zimmerman prior to his altercation with Martin. As a result, none of it ran through Zimmerman’s mind when he made the decision to fire his gun.

      Had Zimmerman made statements to the effect of, “I’ve seen him [Martin] around the neighborhood, and one time he was holding a gun”, then the picture of the gun would’ve been admissible. Some were surprised that the picture of the pot plant wasn’t allowed because Zimmerman said to the 911 dispatcher that he thought Martin was acting like he was on drugs. However, the toxicology reports, which are admissible, will cover that angle.

      • I’ve read that lawyers will not be able to mention the pot in Trayvon’s blood during opening statements. Have you read they will be able during the rest of the trial?

        To me that’s one of the least relevant details. Pot doesn’t cause people to fight.

  17. This looks like a “by the book” ruling. It is “fair” in the sense that the jury will be asked to judge Zimmerman’s specific actions at that point. That this is a self defense vs second degree murder trail it would seem like the judge is trying to stack the deck in the prosecution favor. Trayvon Martin’s past and his drug use get to the heart of motivatioin. Martin was a minute or two from the safety of his father’s residence. Why did he choose to return to confront Zimmerman when he could have made it home? Seems like a manhood issue by a person whose judgement was compromised by recent drug use. Would Trayvon the scholar headed for Harvard turned back to confront Zimmerman? Highly unlikely. Travyon the gangbanger who saw himself as a tough guy wannabe MMA fighter? Most certainly. It seems reasonable to me that Martin’s potential state of mind would be relevant to the case. The judge’s ruling would seem to be more supportable in a manslaughter trial than one for second degree murder.

    Aside to Ralph: You said in previous thread that tough luck Martin was unarmed. What if he was black belt or trained MMA fighter. Would you still consider him unarmed?

    • Aside to Ralph: You said in previous thread that tough luck Martin was unarmed. What if he was black belt or trained MMA fighter. Would you still consider him unarmed?

      No. In that case, punches and kicks, which are usually considered to be mere physical force, could be considered deadly force.

      • So, an untrained guy who has the capability of throwing a lethal punch because of his strength or self instruction is considered unarmed. I get it. A piece of paper makes all the difference.

        • Can you read or are you just tr0lling? I never said anything about a piece of paper.

          You asked if an MMA fighter would be considered armed and I said yes. You didn’t ask about a big, tough guy. The answer to that question is maybe, depending on the disparity in size between him and his opponent.

          Here are some additional ideas for your little brain to get around. In many cases: Woman can use deadly force against an unarmed male attacker. An old person can use deadly force to defend against young unarmed attacker. If the defender is really old, the gender of the attacker won’t matter. An infirm or crippled person can use deadly force against man or woman attacker. A little guy can use deadly force to defend against a man who is substantially larger. The issue is disparity of power.

          Absent more, a healthy young male (GZ) can’t kill another healthy young male (TM) just because of kicks and punches. Two or three attackers is different. But a fistfight is not an excuse to shoot someone.

          Even if I give GZ that he was in fear of death, that fear wasn’t reasonable. He is going to jail, just not for murder.

        • I’d disagree-but I have done kickboxing. And I’m not assuming my attacker is incompetent because that’s too dicey. If someone’s got me down and is smashing my head? if I could shoot them I would.

        • I don’t know why we can’t consider the environment a weapon. What if Martin were hitting Zimmerman about the head with an object of the same hardness as the pavement and with similar force? Now that Martin is “armed”, is Zimmerman’s fear reasonable?

        • @CarlosT, the answer to your question is usually not, but sometimes yes. That’s what makes this less than an open-and-shut case either way.

          But explain something to me. If Martin had in fact “mounted” GZ, as GZ seems to claim, would TM be in a position to apply deadly force to GZ’s coconut? I ask because I have been in that position — both on top and on the bottom — and my belief is no.

          Zimmerman had a couple of minor scrapes. No stitches, no concussion. He was scared, sure. But that’s not the criterion for shooting someone. He was never in danger of death or serious bodily injury. He was in a fight. That’s all. A fight.

        • Ralph:

          I’m just playing defense attorney to you the prosecutor. So let’s recap. You originally described Martin as unarmed. I asked about someone trained in martial arts. You answered that such person could be considered armed. My response was so it comes down to a piece of paper and that sets you off. I think you would have to agree that has this exchange happened in a court room over this case the defense would have scored points with the jury.

        • Ralph, yes, I believe he could easily apply deadly force from that position, by blunt force against the pavement, by choking him out, or any number of other ways. The fact Zimmerman wasn’t more severely injured could because he didn’t wait to find out if Martin could really beat him unconscious or kill him.

        • I believe what Ralph is saying is that given Zimmerman’s injuries, which are really the only evidence we have of the force Martin was applying, a reasonable person would likely conclude that deadly force was not warranted.

  18. The death blow to the prosecution’s case are the intake photos of Zimmerman that show his injuries, and the testimony of the witness that places Martin pummeling Zimmerman from the top. I don’t see how a jury will convict Zimmerman of 2nd degree with that kind of corroborating evidence to his side of the story.

    • agreed. Unless they can show Martin was breaking the law in some way by his prior actions, those are pretty solid for a case of self defence.

    • @Jim, I don’t think it’s a murder case either. The photos? Meh. A couple of scratches on Zimmerman’s skull mean nothing. AFAIK, he didn’t have a concussion and didn’t need a stitch. The wounds were superficial.

      I believe that GZ suffered a broken nose. While not superficial, that’s not sufficient injury to support shooting Martin, who was unarmed.

      • I disagree with you that getting your head beaten against the pavement can’t lead to serious injury, and if someone has you in a position like that, how badly do you have to allow yourself to be beaten in order to justify a reasonable fear of serious bodily harm or death? One or more stitches? Is a concussion necessary? A percentage of your head covered in bruises?

      • That TM was “throwing MMA style punches” at GZ whilst sitting on him IS however grounds for a DGU.
        BTW; a broken nose can easily be lethal due to bleeding running into the throat & airways & a relatively minor collision between the skull & a solid surface can lead to the brain swelling with equally lethal results.
        I see no reason to lie there & let some aggressor beat me to death because what he’s doing isn’t instantly life threatening either.

  19. It shouldn’t matter what TM’s background was. The fact is he, a 6’3″ athletic 17 year old, was beating an older man into the pavement and there was significant bodily risk to GZ. He acted in self-preservation, case closed.

    I don’t care if TM had a spotless record up until that night (and from the sounds of it, he didn’t. Not even close). That single assault was enough to warrant self-defense, which unfortunately for TM resulted in lethal self-defense.

    The end.

    • GZ was an older man? Holy crap! Are you kidding me? He was 28.

      That’s like saying that Martin was a child because he was 17.

  20. While I can agree that past use is irrelevant to the incident,
    how is a positive test for a mind/behavior altering drug in TM
    inadmissible?

    • If you’re referring to “at the time of death,” that would be a toxicology report, and that’s not part of what was ruled out.

  21. The ONLY thing the State has to use against GZ is an “earwitness” that they can’t put on the stand.

  22. At least we won’t need to hear what a wonderfull person tm was during trial, I’m thankfull for that much. Randy

  23. If you guys want an understanding of what’s likely to happen because of this trial,read the chapter on Luis Alvarez in Roy Blacks book titled “Blacks Law”.

    Long story short,the judge in that case bent the law because he didn’t want to incite a riot.Quoting from the book,a jurors wife was threatened by street thugs that if Alvarez was fount not guilty shed “have some problems.” The juror was not dismissed.
    Black filed a motion to declare a mistrial once he discovered jurors were not properly sequestered.The motion was rejected.
    Those are just two of the dodgy tricks the crooked bench and Miami city government pulled to try to railroad Alvarez into a prison cell for political convienence.

    I hope the Florida TTAgers got their guns and ammo ready.

  24. What will be allowed: testimony of how Zimmerman tried to break Trayvon’s fists by pounding them repeatedly with his face.

  25. let the roits begin; the difference between florida and LA, chicago,Newark NJ is that florida is armed to teeth and when roiting breaks out so will the guns to shut it down.

    it gonna be a good time to have CNN on

    • @barstoolguru, the will not be any roits. That much I can promise you. There hasn’t been a roit in FL since the last one went extinct in 1827.

  26. Really!!! The evidence that this thug was predisposed toward violence cannot be used in court. What a bunch of BS! Of course the family is for this ruling. They are undoubtedly banking on the earnings from the subsequent lawsuits they will file. So, shall we assume that the entire criminal justice system will only make decisions based on political ideology? Are we to assume that there is no honesty in government any more? Are freedom loving Americans on their own when it comes to justice? I guess we will need to stay tuned and wait for the next atrocity to be thrown at us.

    • “So, shall we assume that the entire criminal justice system will
      only make decisions based on political ideology?Are we to
      assume that there is no honesty in government any more? Are
      freedom loving Americans on their own when it comes to justice?”

      You obviously don’t have much experience with our illustrious
      judicial system. Though there are rare exceptions, it’s pretty safe
      to answer your questions with yes.

    • “So, shall we assume that the entire criminal justice system will only make decisions based on political ideology? Are we to assume that there is no honesty in government any more? Are freedom loving Americans on their own when it comes to justice?”

      This can just be read as rhetorical.

  27. In other words, if the Prosecution starts delving into George Zimmerman’s past, Martin’s history of dope smoking, gun handling, street fighting and school skipping are fair game.

    No, not a chance. Martin’s “history,” if that’s what it is, can be used by Zimmerman’s attorney to impeach witnesses if they claim that he never had a fight or lit a doobie, but there’s no way it can be part of Zimmerman’s case in chief.

    The judge’s ruling was hornbook law and legally correct.

  28. If we had to with great difficulty try to determine the guilt or innocence of a woman who shot, stabbed (dozens of times) and nearly decapitated a naked man, this one should be a no brainer.
    But what it comes down to is, did Zimmerman break contact, visual or otherwise or did he not. But that may be the hardest fact to establish

  29. Thats nice of them… Let’s, for the sake of argument say…

    I was found to have…

    a) smoked weed or had A DRINK (you know what I mean) the night of a DGU
    b) had a cellphone with pictures of me wasted/high or engaging in illegal activity
    c) had multiple run-ins with “officials” regarding assault/battery

    I’ll stop thinking of scenarios equivalent to Martin’s BS.

    If A = True – I’m going to jail
    If B = True – Good luck getting the jury to even consider the case a legit DGU
    If C = True – If this ever came up in the court, as it sure as hell would…. I better start getting used to prison-slippers.

    How can you throw out evidence to support that TM was a hoodlum, when if I fond myself on the defensive, they would dig up my past, or just about anything they could to put me away.

    • The question isn’t whether TM was a good guy or a lowlife piece of scum. The issue is whether GZ was justified in shooting an unarmed man.

      • Is it possible that an unarmed man could kill you by beating your head into the edge of a sidewalk? If so, then GZ was JUSTIFIED in using deadly force and such action IS PROTECTED by the self-defense prenumbra of the 2A!

        The police’s initial investigation determined it was a JDGU and no charges were initially filed UNTIL it was politicized.

        Pure railroad job now against GZ.

    • A) If it was you who did the shooting, of course it would be admissible. That’s called evidence. And for the record, I believe Martin’s toxicology results are admissible; the judge simply ruled they can’t be mentioned in the opening statement.

      B) Again, if it was evidence against you (the shooter), sure. What does that have to do with anything? Martin is not on trial.

      C) Maybe not. I know that in DUI trials in MA the defendants driving record cannot be introduced as evidence. Regardless, Martin has no actual criminal record to speak of, and like I said, he isn’t on trial.

  30. It really isn’t uncommon that the past stuff gets thrown out.

    The yardstick isn’t what the players have done in the past, but what would a reasonable person have done knowing what the shooter knew at the time he shot.

    So — some person you don’t know comes up to you on the street, and the yardstick is what happened at the time of the decision to shoot.

    If you can demonstrate that you knew that the assailant has killed 6 people and has been guilty of murder and mayhem at the time you made the decision, then it is a different story.

    I realize that my analysis assumes objective apolitical decisions on the judge’s part, and I’m not completely naive, but that’s the general basis.

      • I agree with Ralph. Rumors of Zimmerman’s upcoming acquittal are being wildly exaggerated. This case is way too political.

        • It’s not simply political, and the parts that are go both ways. One side paints Trayvon as a choir boy, killed by a trigger happy gun nut in a situation that’s emblematic of gun culture and racism in America. The other side paints him as a violent thug, stopped by an honest, well meaning neighborhood watchmen who was forced to react to deadly force applied by a trained would-be killer.

          The reality is far, far more complicated than that. Trayvon seems like he was a troubled teen, but teens with troubles are about as rare as birds that can fly. It doesn’t make him a killer, but it does mean that when he engaged in a physical altercation he shared responsibility in the outcome. Zimmerman, for his part, probably should not have used deadly force in response to a physical altercation.

          I honestly don’t know what the ideal outcome to this horrible situation should be, but I do know that as is often the case, the media and opportunistic members of the justice system have destroyed any chance for actual justice on either side.

  31. One comment said this was a win for Trayvon. Uh….No…….Trayvon is, was, and will be the biggest loser in this case regardless of what evidence is allowed or even the outcome of the trial. Trayvon died in the gutter with a smoking hole blown through his chest…….I call that the losing hand. Sorry.

  32. So, it’s ok for a 28 yr old man to stalk and kill an unarmed 12 yr old boy because he smoked week and had problems with authority in the past? That means I should be able to go out there and kill 90% of the teenager. Guess what? that’s what teenagers do. They get high, take stupid pictures, rebel against authority, and get into fights. I bet that most of you had done a few of those things in your teens. It’s ridiculous how some of the gun nuts on here think that GZ was in the right. But what else to be expected from a gun blog. Let it be known, if GZ walks, there will be a riot.

    • If there is a riot you need to keep your azz home. 1 of those gun nuts may decide your ears would make good trophies. And FYI, Trayvon was 17, not 12. And as I ‘ve said before, why don’t we wait til the trials over before we start talking sh!t?

    • I’m glad you were there to define “stalk.”

      “It’s ridiculous how some of the gun nuts on here think that GZ was in the right.”

      Well, that’s a qualified statement. Many of us think he acted in defense of his life, and at the same time think he may have acted stupidly. Stupidly, but not criminally.

      “Let it be known, if GZ walks, there will be a riot.”

      Let it be known, oh keyboard commando, that we will look for you on the front lines of said riot. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.

      • BP, zan soo already has the big screen tv picked out he’s going to loot to get payback for the injustice done to trayvon..

        • Zan Soo begins posting just minutes after lower-case-matt gets utterly vaporized in the Tripoli thread. Coincidence? We report; you deride.

      • I feel the chances of riots are fairly low, and I’m disappointed by how many people are foaming at the mouth to see it happen.

  33. If the physical evidence is even close to what I have heard, this is (should be) an open/shut case. Almost impossible to have gone down any other way.
    Zimmy walks. The Skittles chompin gang banger stays in the ground (where he tried to plant the skull of Barney Fife).

  34. Zimmerman is getting railroaded and we the people need to hold the tyrants responsible.

    Nooses people. We’re gonna need bunches of nooses.

  35. I just want to warhn Florida that the patience of the white Hispanic community is not limitless. If their man George Z is not promptly aquitted and released with apologies from the State and the media, they will take to the streets in their righteous wrath!

  36. I just want to warn Florida that the patience of the white Hispanic community is not limitless. If their man George Z is not promptly aquitted and released with apologies from the State and the media, they will take to the streets in their righteous wrath!

  37. I just want to warn IdahoPete that when your phone says your message wasn’t published, you should hit Refresh and check to make sure before you repost the same comment. Approximately 99.8% of the time, that message is displayed in error.

    Or maybe it’s just your phone telling you that what you think is funny really isn’t that funny after all, and trying to give you a second to reconsider posting it.

  38. what is the difference between us and them? they’ll riot and break stuff into the billion$, make the city democrats look racist, evil and White, murder and assault forcing Korean shopkeepers onto their roofs with shotguns…we, on the other hand will take it in the A as usual like the good little sheeple that we are. We need to start rioting and breaking stuff, since that is the only language this star chamber of Only Ones trying to railroad Z-man via this judge understand and speak fluently. The fix is in for Z…he’s already put on 120 pounds in lockup.

    FL has many deep infected pockets of liberalism, snowbirds from new jersey, new york city, etc.:

    http://gunssavelives.net/blog/veteran-sues-florida-city-after-his-guns-were-confiscated-never-returned-when-he-sought-treatment-for-depression/

    many of them look like this guy:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/labor_big_real_heavy_sleeper_jl3C7gI710FI3XqpEl5o3O

    reminds me of michael behenna: “no expectation of self defense in a combat zone” versus a terrorist trying to kill him that already killed several of his men:
    http://tinytext.org/6g90

  39. “• A state motion to compel George Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie Zimmerman, to testify at a deposition, but Nelson said Shellie can take the Fifth and prosecutors will have to submit their questions in writing to the court and Nelson will decide if Shellie has to answer those specific questions.”

    Wait, isn’t there some pesky little thing called “the law” whereby one cannot be compelled to testify against their spouse?

  40. dear sir or vagina:

    as the webmaster of http://www.thelessergender.com, i think that it is long overdue and high-time for society to stop using the word “cop” to describe policemen. i think that the word “cop” is used to slight policemen, it is said with no respect at all, much like how so many refer to men not as “men” but as “guys” while never failing to show respect to members of the shorter/smaller/weaker/lesser gender by referring to them as “women”.

    i’m not going to try to sell the reader on reasons why they should respect policemen, that would be as productive as trying to explain the principle of “masculine superiority” to a population of mind-numb couch-potatoes who buy into the “a woman can do anything a man can do” line without realizing how real life (ie, gender-based athletics, gender-based eating competitions, gender-based military requirements and gender-based olympic events) slaps the notion of gender-equality right in the face. i’m not going to try to sell the reader on reasons why they should respect policemen by not referring to them as “cops,” i actually don’t believe that most people have respect for policemen. i don’t think that people nowadays have respect for anything but their own desires.

    i realize how george zimmerman was not a policeman, though i don’t believe that someone like trayvon martin was even capable of showing respect to ANY authority figure, but if trayvon martin had better parents then he’d be alive today and he would NOT be burning in hell. if trayvon martin had parents who were involved in trayvon’s life and who were trying to bring their son up to be a polite and respectful “model citizen,” well, he wouldn’t have had a chip on his shoulder big enough to refer to zimmerman as a “cracker” before any confrontations even happened. if trayvon’s parents were better people who instilled a better sense of dignity into trayvon, then trayvon would have been able to speak to a neighborhood watchman in a neighborly way…and a confrontation with zimmerman would have ended with a handshake.

    did trayvon martin even HAVE two parents, or could his delinquency be blamed on a broken home? like britney spears, trayvon was “not that innocent,” but he’s a LOT more guilty than britney will ever be. trayvon martin was suspended from school three times (oops, i did it again) and he was on suspension when he was shot. trayvon was caught with a marijuana pipe and a baggie with drug-residue. trayvon was kicked out of school for graffiti, he was caught with a burglary tool and a bag of (not skittles) womens’ jewelry. he was suspended for skipping school and for tardiness.

    trayvon martin was NOT THAT INNOCENT, a far-cry from the adorable picture of a sweet little negro-boy with a hollister t-shirt on and an ever-present smile on his face. i also wonder, if trayvon was such an exemplarary young man, why would he stay and fight someone twice his size and nearly twice his age when he could so easily have outrun zimmerman and gone back into the 7-11 for some more skittles and a well-lit vantage-point to provide protection from zimmerman? trayvon could’ve even asked for help from the cashier or anyone else in the store.

    he’s not that innocent. he could have run into a lighted store with people inside who could have helped, but trayvon chose to “stand his ground” and to use deadly force. isn’t that the “stand your ground” law? being used by trayvon? NO!!!!

    anyway, so trayvon chose to stand his ground and to bloody-up zimmerman’s head. he’s probably not totally to blame, i mean, he may have been inspired to use deadly force against zimmerman because the 7-11 he just left had an 80’s radio-station on. trayvon could have been inspired to do what he did to zimmerman ‘s head because the last song he heard was quiet riot’s song called “bang your head”. we can’t put all the blame on the sweet, innocent negro-boy. it is wrong to even try.

    now, i realize how most negros (old and young) have no respect for the police. for crying out loud, their african-bongo music has them rapping “FUCK THE POLICE” and “COP KILLER” day in and day out. who could possibly expect more from a race of people if a lot of the most successful (and most heard) members of their race are spewing this kind of hatred, disrespect and vitriol? i grew up watching “the cosby show,” every thursday at 8, the huxtables are the kinds of people that blacks should look up to and respect – not “gangsta rappers” or anyone else with racist or sexist or classist chips on their shoulders. the huxtables MADE something out of themselves, cliff the doctor and clair the lawyer, sandra probably didn’t rely on any “americans with disabilities” act known as “affirmative action” to earn her place in college. as for denise, theo and rudy, well, they lived in a nice home with loving and caring parents who brought them up with a sense of dignity and self-respect. with what negroes are exposed to nowadays, it seems like that show can join “leave it to beaver” in the “yeah, that can happen” trash-heap of history.

    trayvon martin was a disgusting excuse for a human being. there, i said it. trayvon martin’s parents are BAD PARENTS because they are responsible for the lowlife-criminal that trayvon turned out to be. i guess “the cosby show” really is black-america’s “leave it to beaver” – heck, it is white-america’s “leave it to beaver” after a “leave it to beaver” type of american life became a subject for ridicule. “the cosby show” – a strong family unit, parents who grew up before they became parents, parents who don’t rely on government for their lives, a sense of self-love and self-respect, dignity, a pride of self (every aspect of self, not just one), “the cosby show” exuded all of this. sure, at times it was a vehicle for mister roger’s neighborhood and the “land of make believe,” sexist in its attempts to get people to stop regarding the shorter/smaller/weaker gender as “lesser,” but overall it was an excellent show and if more families – black and white – would be like the huxtables then maybe the world would be a better place. maybe trayvon would be alive today – maybe trayvon would not have been suspended from school so much, maybe trayvon would not have had gold teeth – maybe trayvon would have had better parents. that’s what it all comes down to, trayvon is dead because his parents did not bring him up to be a model citizen or even a worthy citizen. worthwhile.

    if only george zimmerman wasn’t patrolling that night. if only trayvon didn’t have a racist chip on his shoulder. if only trayvon grew up in a “huxtable” household rather than the household his parents provided. if only trayvon’s parents were better people. if trayvon’s parents were respectable people who respected people, it’s not hard to fathom that trayvon would have grown up with a respect of people and not with the racist chip on his shoulder that made him regard a total stranger as a “cracker”.

    before i end and send this essay, did you ever wonder why a word like “cracker” can be used on tv and a word like “nigger” is replaced with “the n-word”? nobody dares to say “nigger,” but “cracker” is fine. i’m just going to type it some more, it feels so good on my fingertips. nigger. nigger. nigger. 🙂

    mr. dylan terreri, i
    dr. sheldon cooper, ii
    http://www.n1663r.com
    ————————–
    “When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it.” – Madonna
    http://www.jaggedlittledyl.com/essays
    ————————–

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