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Benjamin Crump (courtesy

You may recall yesterday post Trayvon Martin Was a Gun-Wielding Dope Smoking Delinquent Into Street Fighting. The Martin family attorneys have responded to the release of the deceased teen’s cell phone pictures and texts. Ben Crump issued the following statement:

“The only photos or videos that are relevant or admissible at trial are those of Trayvon taken the day he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. There is no evidence that Trayvon neither had gold teeth, nor gave anybody the finger the night he was shot and killed. Therefore, those pictures are irrelevant and will not be admitted into evidence . . .

“Is the defense trying to prove Trayvon deserved to be killed by George Zimmerman because [of] the way he looked? If so, this stereotypical and close-minded thinking is the same mindset that caused George Zimmerman to get out of his car and pursue Trayvon, an unarmed kid who he didn’t know. The pretrial release of these irrelevant red herrings is a desperate and pathetic attempt by the defense to pollute and sway the jury pool.

“The evidence that will be admitted at trial is the legally documented history of George Zimmerman’s propensity for violence, such as his arrest for battery on a law enforcement officer, his injunction to prevent domestic violence taken out by his ex-girlfriend, and evidence of his training as a bouncer for Data Whore Productions, Inc.”

Martin attorney Natalie Jackson was equally offended if slightly more pithy.

“The photo and documents released by George Zimmerman’s defense team today are irrelevant to his guilt or innocence. Their release was meant solely to prejudice a potential jury pool in the days leading up to the trial. As the Zimmerman defense knows, it is highly unlikely that any of these red herrings will even be admitted into evidence at trial.”

If the Martin family (and the prosecutor) think they can introduce evidence about George Zimnmerman’s character while blocking similar testimony or evidence about Mr. Martin’s character, they’re wrong. And they know it.

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  1. I am curios if Zimmy gets off, how the riots will compare to the Rodney King riots…

    Keep your rifles loaded, Floridians.

      • No, there are Nike stores and Apple stores all across the country that will be broken into.

        It happened in Atlanta after the Rodney King verdict came in. I was in a building that had its windows broken out by Civil Disobediants on their way to the shopping mall.

        • I live about a mile from the courthouse where Zimmerman will be tried. When he gets off (he should) I’ll be laying low as Sanford gets turned upside down.

    • You will not see riots here, not like you would see in LA, Cali, or NY. We’re armed. As for me, I live in a well mixed neighborhood, and since I know my neighbors, I have no worries. And also, I’m armed.

      • I believe you are deluding yourself if you really believe that there will be no riots like in CA. Anything else I say would be construed as racist or profiling even if it is not what I mean.

    • But first learn English, basic grammar and proper pronunciation. It’s a joke this guy pasted the Bar exam. He’s a moron.

      • Says the guy who can’t spell. Just kidding. I can butcher the written word with the best of them.

  2. The defense attorney is right. None of this is admissible in court anyway. The only things that matter is if the jury thinks that Zimmerman was in reasonable fear of his life. And from every bit of evidence that has been released so far, he was. He may be an idiot(well, he is), but Zimmerman was being beaten.

    • He got ambushed because he was following someone.

      If you instigate a fight, whether or not you threw the first punch, you can’t claim “self defense.” That is what the trial will be about.

      Well, that and race baiting by Zimmerman’s lawyers.

      • This case will very much be decided by finding out just who was the “instigator” in this altercation. I tend to think that someone attacking a person, throwing them down, and beating them against the sidewalk seems a HELL of a lot more like instigation to me than someone following a person down the street and around the corner.

        The idea that Zimmerman’s character can be the core of the prosecution but, Martin’s character can not even be looked at is ridiculous and just proves that this is more of a lynching than a fair trial…..

      • You don’t have the right to physically assault someone that is “following” you. You can disagree with what GZ did at the beginning of this encounter, but it was not illegal for him to do so.

        • Exactly. While Zimmerman should not have put himself in the situation in the first place, he was beating assaulted. That is legally all that matters.

        • How do you know Zimmerman didn’t grab Trayvon by the shoulders to confront him first? We only have GZ’s word to go on and he’s already been proved to be deceitful and dishonest.

        •….? That whole site seems hell bent on perverting the truth… Anything creditable?

        • not to your little fox-addled brain, no. But you won’t hear anything other than “BLACK TEENS ARE DANGEROUS THUGS AND SHOULD BE FOLLOWED AND THEN MURDERED”

        • God rtempleton, this site must drive you *crazy*. Composed, intelligent, and humorous discussion and debate by people who carry *guns*? None of that fits with your peg-hole of “Conservatives” as untermensch vermin who drool and gibber. That has to be spoiling the enjoyment of your daily Two Minutes’ Hate.

          No wonder you spend so much distressed effort and time here trying to deflect correspondence and insert ad hominems. Your whole world is going to collapse if you can’t maintain your view of those who think differently than you as dismissible “sub-humans”.

        • Zimmerman is an avowed democrat so claiming that he’s a conservative is rather silly

        • You know when someone’s the sore loser of a debate when they can no longer reply with factual responses and resort to marginalizing comments.

        • rtempleton, I don’t think the release of records things Martin himself said and did with his cell phone can be construed as racist. Martin may fit some ugly stereotypes, but we shouldn’t ignore facts about his history and character just because he’s an embarrassment to his race.

      • If Neighborhood Watch personnel are reduced to not following suspicious persons, what is their function, what is their purpose? You’d just as well advocate abolishing them by law.

      • How do you know Zimm initiated the fight? He was a neighborhood watchman and could have just been making sure Martin would leave the area before causing trouble.

        RACE BAITING, REALLY! How about the liberal MSM hyping this up as a white on black crime and you introduced race yesterday. Yeah yesterday when I suggested you find another site to spew your liberal puke, like TTAK, The Truth About Kumbaya.

    • I’m not sure that this is inadmissable. If you buy into this story line that the GZ defense is trying to paint TM as a bad person that deserved to be shot, sure. But I see it as evidence that relates to GZ’s statements that TM attacked him. That is, was TM’s character such that no reasonable person would believe that he was capable of that action? If this is the reasoning, I’d say that this evidence is very relevant to GZ’s defense.

      • If the prosecution offers testimony that says TM was a perfect angel, GZ’s attorney can rebut using this kind of of evidence.

  3. “If the Martin family (and the prosecutor) think they can introduce evidence about George Zimnmerman’s character while blocking similar testimony or evidence about Mr. Martin’s character, they’re wrong. And they know it.”

    Exactly what I was thinking as I read this post. This “propensity for violence” thing can cut both ways. If one party’s past is relevant, so is the other’s. I just hope the judge and jury can put aside all the political race-baiting, ignore the specter of riots, and deliver a fair trial with a verdict based on *what actually happened that night*.

  4. The fact that Martin had a propensity for street fighting ( if I had read the news right ) should definitely be allowed into court. I am no lawyer, but how can you say street fighting has no bearing on a self defense case when the incident happened because one person was getting the back of his head bashed outside ?

    • The only time prior fights or arrests or restraing orders can be brought up during trial is if it was known by either party at the moment. Not gathered after the incident.
      They can be brought up during the penalty phase if he’s found guilty.

  5. When this all started I was biased against Zimmerman, but now I believe that while he was a stupid mall ninja for following Martin, he probably did get brutally attacked by a typical violent criminal macho punk teenager.

  6. If I recall correctly Travon’s own screen name – chosen by him not anyone else was “nolimitnigga”

    Travon was a thug.

    Another item. While Zero’s 50% AA heritage makes him a “brother” somehow Zimmerman’s half hispanic heritage is ignored because the liberals & Jessie/Al want to make him a white racist. How pitiful. Hispanics – watch out – the AA home boys will throw you under the bus when it works to their advantage.

    • I wonder if the New York Times and other media have ever previously used the term “white Hispanic?”

      The press coverage and rush to make this a race issue has been disgraceful. Did Martin’s race contribute to how Zimmerman interacted with him? Maybe. I never met either person, and I wasn’t there. Seems like many people have already made up their minds.

      I’ll echo others who hope that justice is done here, whatever the verdict.

      • This incident is the debut of the “white Hispanic” term. I may be misremembering, but I think NBC trotted it out first.

        • In the media, maybe, but it’s been around as a demographic term for quite a while.

          As a matter of fact, I’ve seen quite a few questionnaires that treat white Hispanic ethnicity as the default, and only by drilling down through several “no” answers will those of non-Spanish European ancestry be able to confirm the truth of their benighted ethnicity.

      • I wonder if the New York Times and other media have ever previously used the term “white Hispanic?

        I wonder if they ever called POTUS a white black.

    • And while we’re on the subject, since you brought it up, matt. Half polish and half slavic ain’t white either. According to your mentor. Hitler, you’re a untermensch. I believe that translates into “sub-human”. By God, I think Hitler was actually right this once.

      • Just doubles down on my point matt. So, doesn’t it worry you that you’re passing and one of your nazi buddies might find out? And if they find out what inspired your hatred of blacks, they might feel honor bound to remove you from their ranks and this world. It’s a dangerous game you play.

      • Really? I think they would respect me considering how things turned out. See the Battle of Wizna or the Battle of Westerplatte. In the former 720 Poles went against 42,000 Wehrmacht and 350 tanks fighting for 3 days, killing more than 1,500 Wehrmacht, and destroying 10 tanks, before the Wehrmacht flew the white flag and gave them the opportunity to surrender. In the latter 200 Poles went against 3,400 Nazis causing 300 deaths while only taking 15-20 of their own.


      • So, Poles fought the nazis heroically so that you could role over and be their Bitch? And the point is, have you told your Illinois Nazi overlords that you ain’t white and what happened while you were locked down with all those black guys? Remember your comment about being the only white guy in a youth facility full of blacks? And I worked at a prison, so I have a pretty good idea of what happened there. Do your Aryan master race buddies know that story?

      • We rolled over? When did this happen? Watch this video

        Do you remember who captured Berlin? Do you remember who took the majority of the causalities in WW2?

        All my friends know i’m a Slav, its pretty obvious I am if you saw my IRL. Online i use the name jewface. I say a Jewish doctor cursed me as a child because my parents wouldnt let him circumcise me. So he cursed me with a Jew nose, except it is broken and cant sniff out money. And ya my friends know I was in jail. Why wouldnt they?

      • What’s this “we” stuff, matt? You got a mouse in your pocket? As far as i can tell all you’ve done is worship the idealogy of the folks that brutalised your slavic ancestors. Except for bringing shame to your family, what have you done?

      • Thought you said Poland rolled over and was Germany’s bitch; hence the we and that other video. When did I start worshiping National Socalism? Dont you remember, I’m an Anarchist.

        You also know that most Slavs are racist? Eastern Europe is the last refuge of the white race, the only place that actually works to keep the Kebab outt. Watch this video from the BBC warning about how racist we are.

        What did I do to bring shame to my family? Hell, even one of my grandma’s neighbors has a black lawn jockey on their lawn. My grand father had a Nazi officers cap and flag (until they got stolen), and some Nazi patches. He also used to dress up as the Red Baron when he would go flying biplanes, although I guess that is from WW1.

      • And you keep missing or deliberately overlooking the point matt. I’m not talking about what the poles or slavs did in the past. I’m talking about you. What have you done? You’re not in Eastern Europe helping to defend the last refuge of the white race. You’re all blow and no show matt.

        As for being an anarchist. I think that’s a load of bilge too. you live in Chicago, closest thing we have to Mogadisu on this continent and instead of rallying with the brothers trying to spread anarchy right there at your doorstep you identify with one of the most ridgid and authoritarian regimes ever.

        I think my assesment of you being a mentally ill gass bag is probably as close to the truth about matt as any other.

      • I do what I can, I do it because I belive in it, I don’t do it for the glory. Nope, not in Eastern Europe, they have things under control. Chicago does have the largest group of Poles outside of Poland, so I’d rather stay here and do what I can. I would love to go to Ukraine some time though, they have a booming sex tourism industry, the group FEMEN got started by protesting it.

        How do I identify with a authoritrain regime? Because im racist? Just to let you in on a secret, but racism was alive and well long before the Nazis were around.

        And if i’m mentally ill, what disorder do I have besides Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

      • It’s what i thought, matt. You don’t do a thing but waste time on the interwebz. Scrape and save your pennies and take a trip to the Ukraine. If you have to buy a woman at least get one that can pull a plow between tricks.

        Good night matt. i’m going to laugh myself to sleep now thinking how pathetic your life is.

      • Hell, you know I do more than waste time on the interwebz? Dont ya remember my story about getting my incompetent black partner fired at BlueCross, because I refused to train him. Do I need to go over it again? Do you really think I’m going to enumerate everything I’ve ever done here? Please JIDF.

        • And are you still working for Blue Cross matt? I seem to recall you saying you have trouble finding and keeping work because, as you claim, you’re too “honest” for your bosses. Sounds to me like the affirmative action hire wasn’t the only one that couldn’t do his job.

      • To matt:

        You are proud of getting a man fired? That is pretty low. I mean a man comes to the country, gets integrated(learns the language) and tries to get a job and you get him fired(to further become a productive member of society). I bet that you later complained about how “blacks” and foreigners dont want to integrate or get a job. I feel sorry for you.

      • Yes I am proud of that. He was a affirmative action hire. He was in a 3rd level IT position and didnt even know how to type, let alone know how to do his job. It was hilarious when I would rearrange the keys on his keyboard, he would throw a shit fit and threaten to call building security. Other people would tell him that security wouldnt care, and then he would go in to the stock room and get a new keyboard because he didnt know how to remove key caps and rearrange them in the correct order.

        I ended up training a white guy who was working as a level 1, knew how to type, and wrote excel macros to fix problems with our time sheets. A lot of what my team did was writing SQL reports, and SQL is just a glorified complex version of Excel. He actually taught himself most of the skills he needed and my involvement was minimal. He actually worked hard enough that I had to yell at him to stop doing work and responding to my emails while he was on PTO.

        Let me ask you, would you go out of your way to train someone how to do their job, when they were supposed to be qualified, and were being paid just as much as you?

    • White, brown, black, yellow, red. That pretty much covers the colors, doesn’t it? I didn’t know Jewish was a color, I thought it was a religion. Does that mean that Christians is white? Is Muslim black?
      Is Mexican a race, or French? Matt, you really need to sort yourself out on this color/religion/nationality thingy.

      • I’m not defending matt, but as far as that goes, and in reference to several other comments above about Obama, black and white are usually colors or “races,” while Jewish and Hispanic are usually ethnicities, not races. That’s why “white Hispanic” would be a technically accurate term while “white black” would not.

      • Jews actually consider themselves to be a ethnicity/race, even though the Ashkenazi Jews (the majority of Jews out there) are Kazars and were never from ancient Israel, but from a conversion in the 8th or 9th century.

  7. The parents haven’t said no once to any public appearance while George has been in hiding. They have salted the news with child pictures of their thug son to swing public opinion while assaulting GZ’s character. Tough toenails kids, GZ’s lawyers now have their chances to rebuff these activities. How does the Trayvon parents get to interview the Dee Dee witness without letting the Prosecution doing it themselves? This thing stinks.

  8. Sounds like two scumbags ran into each other. Martin dead and Zimmerman in jail. Sounds like a normal outcome to me.

    • Agreed.

      If this had been two gang-bangers in Chicago or Detroit, it would not have evan made the nightly news….

    • You mean the one scumbag that was trying to make his neighborhood a better place to live?, got it, Randy

    • Overconfident stupid mall ninja? Yeah.
      Scumbag? I think that’s overly harsh.

      And Zimmerman isn’t in jail, he’s been out on bail since last July.

  9. Trayvon was a confrontational person and the material demonstrates this. He could have just walked away when confronted by Zimmerman, instead he decided to beat the crap out of Zimmerman. As far as I know, nobody disputes that Zimmerman did not draw until he was on the ground… in other words he is innocent.

  10. Since T.M. isn’t here to testify, a forensic reconstruction of his personality is the only way to look into this individuals possible propensity for violence. His pursuit of a firearm, if true, would have been an illegal act were under age. It would also underline an ongoing disregard for the law. An investigation into the participants unspoken motives, truly, cuts both ways. Personally I think Zimmerman escalated the situation the minute he left his car in his unauthorized pursuit of Martin. A cell phone photo would have made all our lives easier.

  11. I don’t know much about legal maneuverings. ya know. it’s been a long time since the O.J. case. I just know this whole situation is effed up and everybody would have been a lot happier if it had been avoided all together. stupid humans.

  12. “Is the defense trying to prove Trayvon deserved to be killed
    by George Zimmerman because [of] the way he looked?”

    I notice there was no objection by the defense to allow
    themselves and the MSM to push that Martin was an innocent
    angel and that Zimmerman was psychotic gun toting

  13. Dear Mr. Crump,

    Please get back to us when you:

    1. Have learned basic grammar and spelling skills.
    2. Have learned that the judge decides on what is relevant and admissible.

    I think we can all agree on one thing. Either way the case is decided, the fall-out will be ugly.

  14. Street fighting not relevant? Of course it is. Martin smoked dope? Unless they found something in his postmortem blood work, it’s not relevant.

    Sure, Zimmerman’s defense is trying to influence the jury pool, and it’s about time. The Martin family has been doing so and inflaming the black community since the shooting.

    I’m not a Florida attorney, but in most cases so-called “other crimes” evidence against a defendant is tightly restricted because it can be more prejudicial than probative. So, evidence about a DRO and a scuffle with a cop would likely be excluded from the prosecution’s direct case in, say, NY. FL may differ.

    But “other crimes” evidence against Martin might be admissible. He’s not on trial, so there’s no prejudice. It depends how closely it relates to the events on the night in question.

    It all depends on the judge — who happens to be the fourth one assigned to this case. Two others recused based on the appearance of conflict, and one was kicked based on appearance of prejudice. This case was and remains totally FUBAR.

    • Especially considering the length of time since the DRO and a scuffle with a cop, and the circumstances surrounding them. I believe the defense has already deposed the former girlfriend who filed the restraining order, and though it wasn’t enunciated specifically, the conclusion I drew was that it was as much a strategic restraining order as a legitimate one.

  15. I see typical progressive psychobabble:

    “GZ’s history is admissible because it’s good for our case.”

    “TM’s history is inadmissible because it’s bad for our case.”

  16. “Is the defense trying to prove Trayvon deserved to be killed by George Zimmerman because [of] the way he looked?”
    In the US, the prosecution is the only one that needs to prove anything. They are not trying to convict Trayvon. Strange that the Martin family’s lawyer is acting more like a defense attorney. Unless your are trying to preserve the yutes (young ones) reputation for the civil suit.
    Maybe in FL there is a burden of proof in self defense cases. Any FL Lawyers out there.

    • It seems that GZ does not have to prove self defense “beyond a reasonable doubt.” He needs to introduce enough self-defense evidence to create reasonable doubt. That’s from a 2006 case.

      The model jury instruction is this:

      If in your consideration of the issue of self-defense you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether the defendant was justified in the use of deadly force, you should find the defendant not guilty. However, if from the evidence you are convinced that the defendant was not justified in the use of deadly force, you should find [him] [her] guilty if all the elements of the charge have been proved.

      So if the jury says, gee, we don’t know if GZ acted in self-defense or not, they must acquit.

      I’m a retired NY lawyer and not familiar with FL law, so FL lawyers are invited to correct me.

  17. “The evidence [against Mr. Zimmerman] that will be admitted at trial is the legally documented history…”

    Wait, didn’t he just not pose an opinion on the contrary when referencing Mr. Martin?

    “The only photos or videos that are relevant or admissible at trial are those of Trayvon taken the day he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.”

    Yup, just as I thought.
    You can’t choose to dismiss ones history while pursuing to highlight the other.

    • You can, because the victim is not on trial.

      The reason conservatives have a hard time understanding this is that they live in hypermasculine fear world, where every brown face is out to get them, and the government is ready to jump out of a helicopter and stomp their face in.

      These suburban whitebreads have never EVER had to face real bigotry or fear of violence in their sad, sheltered little lives.

      • I don’t know when I’ve heard conservatism explained with such clarity, now if you can just leave out the abject stupidity. Randy

      • You’re assuming Martin is *the* victim. He may not be.

        The trial is meant to determine whether Zimmerman was acting in self-defense that night. If it wasn’t self-defense, then Martin is a homicide victim and Zim a convicted murderer. If it was self-defense, then Martin is not a victim, but a dead criminal.

      • “The reason conservatives have a hard time understanding this is that they live in hypermasculine fear world, where every brown face is out to get them, and the government is ready to jump out of a helicopter and stomp their face in.”

        So, do you label the likes of Walt Williams or Mia Love
        as Uncle Toms or just self loathers? And what about us
        Native Americans? Are we supposed to hate black men
        or is that only if we’re conservative?

        All these conflicting questions. At least I don’t have to
        worry about the IRS auditing me for political reasons.

      • Except your theory falls apart when one factors in that Zimmerman IS a “brown face”, or to use the phrase Liberal News media made up just for him.. “White Hispanic”..

  18. Remember crump, if the glove doesn’t fit you must aquit. Zim was helping blacks, hardly a bigotted thing to do. Randy

  19. It might be a matter of personal preference, but I don’t think I would mind if TTAG stopped posting about Zimmerman and Martin until a jury decides the case. All of these speculative posts seem to really bring out the trolling on all sides.

    So let me summarize the crux of 80% of the posts:




    Move along, TTAG. Nothing to see here. because I doubt the “real truth” will ever come out.

    • Exactly. Let’s let the jury decide right and wrong in this case. My take is that there was enough stupid on that street that night to go around for all. And since then the stupid has been piled deep and fast.

    • As a willing participant, I’d be OK with this. There’s nothing new under the sun, as the saying goes. All we’re doing is rehashing what’s already out there.

    • This. The blog is The Truth About GUNS. Other than the fact that a gun was used during the incident, this has nothing to do with guns. It’s just sensationalism. I come here for guns, if I want other news I already have DRUDGE.

      • I never realized you were in charge hereabouts, Sheriff. Like me or any other participant, you have the right to skip over material that is not of interest to you; I do this here every day. Maybe you should drop the Contol Freak within and try it.

    • The real truth is that we will never know the real truth. Trials aren’t about the truth, they’re about twelve people deciding who has the best lawyer.

  20. Guys, I know we all want to think the best of a man caught in a DGU. We all would want the benefit of the doubt if we ever have to use our weapons in self-defense. But what happened here is a clear case of vigilantism.

    Martin’s race is irrelevant. Zimmerman’s race is irrelevant.

    We know that Zimmerman was following Martin because he “looked suspicious”. What happened next is a he-said-she-said of who threw the first punch. But that doesn’t change the fact that if Zimmerman had not decided to be a vigilante and follow Martin around, Martin would still be alive and we wouldn’t be talking about this case. As a CCW holder, if is your responsibility to de-escalate situations whenever possible. When Zimmerman made the decision to follow around Martin, he was escalating the situation unnecessarily. He is not a cop. His gun did not give him the right to investigate someone he suspects could be a criminal. Therefore Zimmerman was in the wrong from the word go.

    • I think describing what Neighborhood Watch people do all over this country all the time as vigilantism is a dramatic overstatement. Based on what little we know (and that there has been no evidence thus far to disprove), GZ saw him, contacted police, and followed him to keep him in sight while reporting to the police on his location. Most of that happened while he was on the phone with police. So we know the account up to ’til then is pretty accurate. What happens after that gets a bit murky. Did he approach TM physically or verbally? I don’t know. Did TM approach him physically or verbally? I don’t know that either. But everything that happened prior to that is nothing more than people do all the time while watching out for their neighborhood, and is not by any reasonable definition either aggressive or provocative.

    • @DarkEnigma:

      …except that’s not what happened, as we know from the evidence which has been made public. And there is no law which says that a man (whether armed or not) cannot watch or follow someone in public. A man does not, and should not have an obligation to “always do nothing.” Whoever made the first violent physical move was the aggressor, and from what we know, this was Trayvon.

      If some guy is following you, you either evade him and continue with your business, or you confront him respectfully and ask what’s the matter. If Trayvon had done the latter, most likely Zimmerman would have said something about neighborhood watch captain, blah blah blah, and Martin would have said “Naw dog, chill, it’s cool, I was just getting some Skittles and now I’m walking home” …Zimmerman might not have been satisfied, but he wouldn’t reasonably be able to do anything else, and he would have accomplished his goal in warning a potential criminal that he was being watched.

      But that’s not what happened.

      This case gets everyone up in arms because we can all identify with it. The blacks, fed plenty of liberal propaganda for 50 years, can all readily imagine themselves to be innocently walking down the street when some racist “white” guy guns them down. The whites (and others) can readily imagine themselves as Zimmerman, seeing a suspicious person, quite possibly up to no good, in their neighborhood and doing the right thing by keeping an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t spontaneously smash someone’s window or steal a car. 99% of people, if this last scenario were proposed to them “in a vacuum,” would deem this praiseworthy, even heroic behavior -certainly the right, neighborly thing to do. Well, that’s what Zimmerman did, it went bad, and now he’s facing murder charges after being obliged to defend himself.

      • You are a racist idiot. I’m going to keep this post as a reminder to liberals as to why they should arm and be prepared to defend themselves from lunatic conservatives.

        • rsimpleton — may I call you “r?” — you calling anyone an idiot is less a statement of disdain than an expression of your own inferiority.

        • I understand that you have your conception of how things went down that night, and it conflicts with those of many on this board. And I agree that there are racist idiots coming out of the woodwork (eg lowercase matt). But I can’t see anything racist or idiotic in E. Jones’s post. I think you are getting worked up and spouting off indiscriminately and that is a mistake.

        • little pony, I don’t think lower-case-matt is actually a racist…as I don’t think he believes anything in particular at all. If you haven’t seen him often before, he’s something of a chameleon-troll. He will say whatever is most directly out of phase with the topic at hand to get a rise out of people.

        • Human Being, he has called himself a racist in the past, so I think it’s perfectly fine for others to do the same.

        • Simpleton is just doing what he is being paid to do by Organizing For America, agitate at non-progressive websites.

        • CarlosT, he could’ve called himself a martian after the Orson Welles radio broadcast, he’d still just be a baiting troll.

        • I think Rbonehead is mikeb in drag trying to piss everyone off, or he’s the real racist who can’t face the real facts in this case.

  21. Is there anything more likely to “prejudice a potential jury pool” than the President going on National TV and all but calling Zimmerman guilty?

  22. All this talk of Zimmerman being a ‘mall ninja’ or, a wannabe cop, or simply stupid. I wouldn’t go any further than to classify him as incompetent. While we all here are free to pick apart the select facts that have been presented to us, GZ at least got out there, attempting to improve the quality of life in his neighborhood. Also, if following someone constitutes a lethal response…. Try that on the next cop on your tail in traffic.

    • I wonder where’s the line. If I’m walking thru the mall and I pass three stores and turn two corners, is the person behind me really following me? Are they just headed the same way? Do I dare take the chance? Should I ask them before I hit them? If they say they’re not following me, well, obviously they must be lying, right? Because who would admit it? Best to punch first and ask questions later I guess.

  23. The admissibility of evidence in criminal proceedings is primarily controlled by Florida statutes, and case law interpreting those statutes. To the extent the photos and other evidence speak to a character trait of the alleged victim (i.e. violent aggression or peacefulness), FS. 90.404 is informative:
    90.404 Character evidence; when admissible.—
    (1) CHARACTER EVIDENCE GENERALLY.—Evidence of a person’s character or a trait of character is inadmissible to prove action in conformity with it on a particular occasion, except:
    (a) Character of accused.—Evidence of a pertinent trait of character offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the trait.
    (b) Character of victim.—
    1. Except as provided in s. 794.022, evidence of a pertinent trait of character of the victim of the crime offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the trait; or
    2. Evidence of a character trait of peacefulness of the victim offered by the prosecution in a homicide case to rebut evidence that the victim was the aggressor.

    Thus, under 1(a), unless Zimmerman first offers character evidence of his own character trait for “peacefulness” (aka “opening the door”), the prosecution may not introduce any evidence of Zimmerman’s violently aggressive character, assuming such evidence exists.

    Under 1(b)(1) and 1(b)(2), we see a couple of ways that evidence of Martin’s violent character could become admissible. Note that under b(2), the prosecution could open the door if there is evidence that Martin was aggressor, in which case Zimmerman could respond with contrary evidence. But even under b(1), if the character trait is “pertinent” Zimmerman could introduce it.

    The question is whether or not the evidence is “pertinent” to a character trait for violence and aggression. I doubt gold teeth, despite their gang-culture connection would be “pertinent”, but certainly a passion for personal involvement in street-fighting would.

    90.404(2) also discusses other bad acts, which are generally inadmissible unless to prove “motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.” Generally, this is to protect Zimmerman, and whether or not it relates to an alleged homicide victim I am not sure. From the alleged “bad acts” evidence I have read about Zimmerman’s past, none of it, in my view, would fall into any of those exceptions.

    So unless I am missing the boat here (it happens) 90.404 (and cases interpreting it) would seem to be the focal point of the discussion. Now, it is possible that another lawyer could disagree with me. But wouldn’t it be nice if the lawyers who purport to inform the public on the law would actually reference the relevant law when giving their views? That way, the public would have some assurance that the speaker isn’t just winging it, right?

    • Also, Ralph above asked about whether or not Zimmerman has to prove his self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. The answer in Florida is no, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did not act in self defense:

      “When self-defense is asserted, the defendant has the burden of producing enough evidence to establish a prima facie case demonstrating the justifiable use of force. Montijo v. State, 61 So.3d 424, 427 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011); Fields v. State, 988 So.2d 1185, 1188 (Fla. 5th DCA 2008); see Murray v. State, 937 So.2d 277, 282 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006) (holding that law does not require defendant to prove self-defense to any standard measuring assurance of truth, exigency, near certainty, or even mere probability; defendant’s only burden is to offer facts from which his resort to force could have been reasonable). Once the defendant makes a prima facie showing of self-defense, the State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense. Fields, 988 So.2d at 1188. The burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, including the burden of proving that the defendant did not act in self-defense, never shifts from the State to the defendant.”

      Again, wouldn’t it be nice of the mass media informed the public?!

      • Ha, you beat me to it. Was just pulling up the Florida statute on character and propensity evidence. My bet is that even if the court found it to be evidence of a pertinent character trait, there’s a good chance it would still be excluded under 403 for unfair prejudice. The only way I see this getting in is if the prosecution puts TM’s character into play.

        • I do not see how the evidence discussed is unfairly prejudicial, especially if presented by a defendant in a murder trial. (The one exception might be images of Martin handling firearms, as these are not relevant, and Martin had no firearm….they could only serve to prejudice jurors.) If anything, 403 may apply to some of the state’s evidence mentioned in the post, such as the alleged domestic violence injunction.

          Further, no judge wants to get overturned in a case like this. Easier (and fairer to the defendant) to allow admissible evidence rather than to risk being overturned for applying 403 too aggressively against a murder defendant.

      • He did not act from the beginning in self-defense. He was the stalker, not the stalkee, for most of the encounter. He deliberately put himself in that situation. The need for self-defense came after he confronted the now-deceased teenager.

        • Keeping an eye on a strange person while communicating with the police is something neighborhood watch folks do hundreds, if not thousands of times a year. It’s not even remotely illegal. As far as “after he confronted,” please tell us how you know he confronted him? I’m not saying he didn’t (OK, who am I kidding, if we’re picking sides, that’s exactly what I’m saying), and I’m not saying TM confronted him. I’m saying that I don’t know. And neither do you. You’re making assumptions based on your own personal biases, not based on any factual evidence. Because there isn’t any. Only two people know who confronted whom. One of them’s dead, and you don’t believe the other.

  24. The cop that Zimmerman assaulted was later shot and killed by another officer when he failed to identify himself while undercover. I’m sure he properly identified himself when he started a fight undercover in a bar with Zimmerman and his friends.

    As to Martin’s character? This is how it will play out…the defense will claim Martin attacked their client, the State will put on witnesses saying that no, little Trayvon would never ever do anything like that. He just wasn’t that kind of boy. Then the defense will introduce the photos to counter the State’ mythmaking. If the State brings Martin’s character into it then it’s open season.

  25. The lawyers for the Martins need to go back to grammar school. Many grammatical mistakes in their release. Combox errors are one thing, press releases another. And lawyers should know proper grammar, like whom, rather than who?

  26. If it was the other way around and the neighborhood watch captain was black and the punk kid “white”, the same lawyers would be on the other man’s side.

    • I’ll try to share my thoughts again without profanity.
      The difference between me and a lot of folks here is that I would support TM’s “god given and constitutionally protected” right to hold a gun. Or send and receive texts about wanting one.
      He’s walking home, minding his business, and a dumb-nut, wannabe with a gun starts following him. What would you do? Should have been a DGU. The wrong guy is in a coffin. RIP Trayvon.
      On that note, I think the case of this idiot is bad for gun rights and I don’t understand why it’s discussed here, except to start a flame war.

      • If you think being followed is just cause for a “DGU”, then you are exactly the kind of person that SHOULD NOT be carrying a gun..
        BTW, the undoctored 911 tapes suggest that Zimmerman DID obey the dispatcher and was on the way to meet the Cops when Martin came up on him..

        • When you talk of the “undoctored” tapes, you are aware that only one network did that, right? NBC. I never heard those “doctored” tapes because I watch CNN for news. I don’t know how well NBC news does, but the entire world did not hear, as you seem to imply, these so-called doctored tapes. In fact, I understand that NBC used the non-edited versions after the complaints occurred. So what NBC did or did not do has nothing to do with the news most of us saw and heard.

  27. As the mother of three grown sons, I can relate to both of these guys. But let’s not forget that, no matter how tall Trayvon was, he had just turned 17 the month before this happened, and he was just visiting his father and most likely not that familiar with the neighborhood. GZ might not have recognized Trayvon as a member of the neighborhood and therefore thought he didn’t have the right to be there, but Trayvon also did not recognize this strange, stocky, (probably) menacing looking man. Yes, I did tell my children to walk fast and then run home if they were ever followed by a stranger, but I also gave them Judo lessons and that wasn’t so they could be actors in Hollywood.

    We know from the phone call that Trayvon had rounded the corner of the building — and GZ still followed him. And it does not seem that GZ did as he had agreed to with the 911 operator and turned back to his car. Because the shooting occurred in the middle of the courtyard. A teenager might look grown but his brain has not fully evolved. This is why we hold them to a different level of accountability in life and allow them to grow up before expecting adult behavior from them. Especially in a case where he is being followed by a stranger. Trayvon had just as much right to defend himself as GZ did. And he wasn’t carrying a loaded gun.


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