Zimmerman: To Sequester or Not to Sequester, That is the Question

I oppose juror sequestration and recommend that it be abolished. I believe many judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys agree. I write to support my recommendation and to solicit your views regarding this important matter.

I practiced law in Seattle for 30 years. I do not recall any trial during that time where jurors were sequestered. I am not saying it did not happen, but if it did, I do not recall it.

Judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers and jurors hate the idea. So do the people who have to police the jurors by screening all information that comes to them and redacting anything about the case.

The jurors might as well be locked up in jail and they never would have agreed to serve as jurors, if they knew what it was going to be like.

I have discussed this issue with other criminal defense lawyers from other parts of the country, whom I got to know through my involvement in the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and we all agreed that sequestration is a bad idea. We knew the jurors would hate it and we feared they would take out their frustrations on our clients.

As I devoted more of my time and efforts during my career to learning forensics and representing people potentially facing the death penalty, I found myself in more complex and lengthy trials.

For example, one death penalty trial went on for 9 months. The shortest trial lasted 3 months. The strain on everyone involved in the process, including the jurors, was incalculable.

If they had been denied access to the comforts of home and hearth during that time, I would not have been surprised if some of them had cracked and assaulted their keepers or just fled the madness and disappeared.

I knew one thing for certain. I would never have tolerated being sequestered, if I were a juror. For that reason alone, I would never ask for a jury to be sequestered and would oppose a prosecution request to sequester.

At some point, we have to get smart, acknowledge human nature, and stop trying to hold back the sea. Jurors are going to watch TV, read newspapers, listen to the radio, surf the internet and discuss the case with their domestic partners and close friends.

Rather than ban those activities and set them up to commit perjury by insisting they swear not to do those things, we should educate and warn them regarding the potential dangers of outside influences and remind them daily of their solemn duty and responsibility to base their decision on the evidence introduced in court.

Jurors should be encouraged to note and inform the judge and the lawyers when outside information about the case reaches them. Segregating that information into a category labeled with the word “Ignore,” reinforced by a jury instruction ,probably is the best way to limit, if not eliminate, the problem posed by outside information influencing the jury to reach an improper verdict.

Treating jurors with honesty and respect, instead of suspicion and distrust, as though they were naughty children requiring continuous adult supervision, is the mature, honorable and decent way to go.

Disregarding inadmissible evidence is a task judges are required to perform on a regular basis. Some take that obligation seriously and some do not. Some are better at it than others.

Some judges are so corrupt that they will invent evidence to support conclusions they intend to reach, despite the evidence.

The jury system was created to address this last category of judges by preventing the Crown from depriving people of their property, liberty and lives without just cause.

Since the jury system was created, judges and lawyers have attempted to control what jurors do and how they do it. The clearest example that comes to mind is the effort to outlaw jury nullification.

Jury nullification occurs when a jury decides to disregard the law as set forth in the instructions and return a verdict of “Guilty” or “Not Guilty,” according to what it decides to be the “right” decision, regardless of the law.

Here are two examples of jury nullification that illustrate opposite extremes.

In the first case, a jury acquits a young man of failing to register for the draft during an unpopular war despite evidence that he refused to register because he was opposed to the war.

In the second case, an all White jury convicts a Black defendant of the rape-murder of a White woman and sentences him to death, despite DNA evidence that exculpates him.

The fear of jury nullification is so strong that any lawyer who mentions it is likely to be summarily held in contempt, ordered to jail and a mistrial granted.

A reasonable possibility exists that a jury will be sequestered in the Zimmerman case, assuming Judge Nelson denies Zimmerman’s motion for immunity from civil and criminal liability and the case proceeds to a jury trial. Due to Florida’s Sunshine Law, we are familiar with most of the evidence that will be admitted at the trial, as well as evidence that will be excluded.

Assume that you have been selected as a juror in the Zimmerman case.

My questions:

(1) Having been exposed to inadmissible evidence, such as W9’s accusation that Zimmerman sexually abused her multiple times during a ten-year period that began when she was 6-years-old and he was 8-years-old, do you believe you could ignore her accusation and base your individual verdict only on the evidence admitted in court?

(2) Assuming your answer is “Yes,” why do you think you could ignore it?

Now let us expand the scope of the two questions to include all of the evidence and information you know and your opinion of Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence. Have your answers changed?

(3) Do you believe it is possible for you to presume Zimmerman innocent, given what you know?

Finally,

(4) Knowing what you know, would you find him “Not Guilty,” if the prosecution fails to meet its burden of proof because it did not introduce evidence that you recall?

Aye, there’s the rub.

228 Responses to Zimmerman: To Sequester or Not to Sequester, That is the Question

  1. Malisha says:

    I sure would like to hear the partial recording made of the woman who called the police on 2/27/2012 to say that she knew George had it in him to provoke a race-related fight.

    I sure would like to hear a recording of the Homeowners Association meeting on 3/1/2012 where then Chief of Police Bill Lee “had to escort out of the meeting” a resident who was upset because he or she claimed to have contacted police several times in the past in fear that George would shoot somebody because he was a loose canon running around with a loaded gun.

  2. Fed-up taxpayer says:

    Pg 34 of 262, see image. Looks like bloodstained hole high in chest, blood flow downward. Is that what it is?

  3. Brown says:

    @ Everyone

    Here is so more data for your files

  4. I could not sit on this jury. I’d sit there and listen and all the while have in my mind the total lack of remorse, lack of even caring that I saw and heard as Gz “testified” on the Hannity show.

    I am down the middle on sequestration. As an American I feel it is my duty to answer the call of jury duty. I feel that I value my rights and this is a payback for them. Would I want to be sequestered….nope…but, I would feel it was my duty to be if asked.

    AND, IMO, I do not care what ratio of black to white the city is. With the world’s eyes now aware of this case, there is no way a black person will not be seated unless one does not show up who meets the requirements to sit on a jury. Was it county or city statistics posted? Isn’t this a county of prospective jurors.

    George can dream all he wants, but there will be at least 1 of 6 who will knows how black teens/young men are still profiled (whether it be unknowingly or by intent).

    I raise my white hand and solemnly swear to the court that will be playing out the law for George Zimmerman….you do not dare…not in my country…..because we are all watching.

    Hmmm think that film I just watched…12 Angry Men…hit a sore spot with me lol…..

    • Brown says:

      @ Professor,
      has locations of cuttings regarding DNA. The numbers are Greek to me. I defer to you for anaylsis.

      • Patricia says:

        Brown, please review the second set of neighborhood photos, #25/60 and #26/60.

        Two spots on the grass appear to be spray-painted fluorescent orange. One is contiguous to the curb of the dog walk. The second is larger, further into the grass. I cannot see what is painted (if, in fact, it was sprayed) although there seems to be “something” inside the larger orange area, roughly flush with the grass.

        The standard location for sprinkler heads is contiguous to a hard surface, generally a concrete walk or driveway. This is so riding mowers/lawn tractors will not damage them as they drive over them.

        The smaller stain right next to the dog walk would be the size of a RainBird sprinkler head, but I cannot discern anything other than grass.

        Any help I can get re possible identification of the orange highlights and why they would be placed there before photographing that area is GREATLY appreciated.

        Thanks for sending, Brown!

        • Brown says:

          No problem will check for you.

          : ^ )

        • Brown says:

          I wish instead of viewing on the computer monitor, I wish I could connect the whole computer system to the 60″ plasma screen so I could see every damn blade of grass. I think if I found out how to do it my husband would say oh no lady this is for football. LOL : ^ )

          • fauxmccoy says:

            blush-brown — i think google tv would do that for you. my husband (an IT geek) just got it and i have yet to play with it to figure it out, mostly because hubby or kids are always using it.

          • Brown says:

            The Real McCoy is that you ….
            I will look into that it has all these buttons and slots for usb hdmi and alot of other letters i know nothing of…but i will figure it out best believe that
            Where have you been ? class today has been really going well

          • fauxmccoy says:

            yup, it’s me. doc put me on a new med, supposed to help me sleep and it does … unfortunately, i am now up all night and sleep all day. i did just finish reading the entire thread. love, love, love SNT cracking gz’s head like a walnut and finding no brains 😉

          • Brown says:

            She is so funny. She has a gift for writing stories that you can see in your head.

            Hope the new meds are working better for you. Once your body gets used to them your sleep pattern will hopefully normalize

          • Brown says:

            test test

        • Brown says:

          Rearding page 2 of photos from AA snaps 23, 24, 25 of 60.
          It looks to me as markers. Note that the photographer took an away shot then a closer shot then a down shot at the orange spots. Reference points maybe? Its aligned with the concrete square, it seems to me that was put there on purpose.
          Will check other brb.

          • Patricia says:

            Agree they are markers. What are they marking?

            Any way to establish THE DATE the photos were taken?

            If right after the shooting, maybe they did chem-spray for location of blood, analyzed same – but data not yet released. Need to know.

          • Brown says:

            Whonoze on bcclist says its behind 1341 TTL were w11 w6 w3 were.
            Hope that helps.
            Will check if I can find dates of photos. Had to be in spring everything is so green and there are more leaves on the trees.

          • Patricia says:

            Oooooh – Brown, how smart you are! I did not note the reverse shots from condos to see view of spots. Looking again at same …

          • Brown says:

            also he goes almost in a complete circle while taking shots

          • Patricia says:

            @Brown – complete 360-degree coverage for LE photos are standard – I noted what a good job this guy (gal?) did.

          • Brown says:

            ^ 5 to the photograher !!

          • Brown says:

            excuse all the typos had too much espresso
            : ^ )
            trying to search type clean and smoke a brisket……

          • Patricia says:

            Brown, what the world needs now is a really good smoked brisket in the cooker. Smoke on!

          • Brown says:

            Getting my smoke on Girl !!!

          • Brown says:

            series 1 photo 46 & 47 red spot marker, isn’t that where GZ said i was here ……

          • Patricia says:

            Brown, he said that waving his arms at the T. This location w/the orange spot is outside John’s condo (W#6) and looks like where GZ scraped his head MINIMALLY, then got the upper hand (upper body position), and shot Trayvon.

          • Brown says:

            Oh my dear Patricia
            I am sending you some of my espresso… lol
            @ the T per reenactment per the numbskull GZ he says I was here… listen forward from 7.28
            @ 7:30 I was here

            Notice where he is standing camera moves down
            this is where the red marker is place. (series 1 photo 46 & 47 at the T)
            He says he got punched in the face @ 8:05 Notice how he looks down the path and realizes that he has to come up with something to account for the distance he inserts the “stumbling” some 40 feet. We then end up with the 2 orange markers in front of john’s house.

          • Patricia says:

            Notice where he says TM “looked back” — when there was no illumination – GZ has night vision.

            Has anyone transcribes this pack of lies? I would love to see the transcription side-by-side a transcription of the 311 NEN cal to see every lie stand out.

            In this re-enactment GZ is standing by the evil dog-poop station that attacked him so cruelly two nights earlier.

            How did GZ get transported 40 ft. southward? Either GZ is an angel and flew there (ask Shellie) or …

            12 ft. tall Suuuper-Neeegro Trayvon (SNT) picked him up like a fledgling birdie and carried GZ southbound, where SNT cracked GZ’s head like a walnut, hoping to pick his brains. Not finding any, SNT (also with night vision – in this case X-ray vision) plucked GZ’s Kel-Tek out of GZ’s holster and shot himself with it. Zimmerman not to blame.

            FDLE sprays grass with orange to erect monument to Zimmerman, brave and fearless survivor.

          • Brown says:

            LMAO, I see you got the espresso shot

          • Brown says:

            I see Tm turn into SNT, cracking that head and not finding any brains that cracked me up badly, What no brains, no soup for you..!!

          • Brown says:

            Here is Tchopi map this will probably help us with getting a visual in our head with the new picutres taken

          • Patricia says:

            Brown, please check #45/60 and #47/60 — inside the lower left “L” of the dog walk, about a foot up, you will see a small grey round item flush in the grass next to the curb – that is a sprinkler head.

            That is the same size as the smaller orange spray next to the edge of the dog walk in #25 & #26/60.

            No reason to spray the concrete valve cover because it is visible.

            Photos taken by FDLE – note their huge van through the “cut through” between buildings.

            Estimate photos taken 4-5 weeks after SPD photographed the area, considering the leafing out of the trees.

            Also shown is the vicious dog-poop station that attacked Zimmerman’s nose.

            Those dog-poop stations show no mercy.

          • Brown says:

            Damn those dog poop stations, the trouble they cause, GeeZZZ
            LOL

          • Brown says:

            Which series Patrica? ; ^ ))
            1 2 3 or 4

        • Brown says:

          also noted that photgrapher went down to the orange spots then took pictures of every back window with a view to the orange spots.

      • bettykath says:

        Brown: “I wish instead of viewing on the computer monitor, I wish I could connect the whole computer system to the 60″ plasma screen so I could see every damn blade of grass. I think if I found out how to do it my husband would say oh no lady this is for football. LOL : ^ )”

        I have my computer hooked to my tv for movies, etc. I have one connection for video and another for audio. I talked to a tech in Staples, bought the connectors, and then went hunting for places on the tv and computer to hook them into. (video in, audio in on the tv are usually marked; the headphone outlet for audio and what matches the connector end for video on the computer.) Both connectors easily disconnect for football (if you aren’t using it). Hope your husband understands that it’s your tv too and with his cooperation in letting you use the screen, you’ll be happy to let him use your remote control. : )

    • I think the professor will compose a good response to this. My thoughts are if Gz was at close range to Trayvon when he fired the shot would we not expect the impact of the missile going into Trayvon’s body to splatter forth blood? If so, would this splatter of blood or lack of it on Gz’s jacket or shirt indicate the distance away from Trayvon’s body when the trigger was pulled?

    • Fed-up taxpayer says:

      Pg. 34 of 262 shows image of shirt, Entry hole high on chest, blood flowing downwards. Is that what we see?

  5. bettykath says:

    To Sequester or Not to Sequester: I lean toward not. Jury duty is an invasion to everyday life. A trial of short duration, living at home, is not too bad. Even living in a decent hotel for a short trial is possible. A fleabag wouldn’t work at all.

    Sequestering for a long trial would put a huge burden on the jury that could become resentful and downright crabby. The resentment and crabbiness could come out in unpredictable ways. First stop on the crabby trail would be a jury that might have a hard time working together because they just don’t want to be there.

    In the trial of Zimmerman, I don’t see much reason for it. The possible evidence, at least most of it, is already out for public consumption. I don’t know what the legislature was thinking in requiring it all to be put out there!

  6. gblock says:

    Professor,

    I understand the issues regarding the hardship to jurors of being sequestered and them getting surly about it. The problem that I see is that psychological research shows that it is very normal for people to become confused about the source of information and to think that they got information from a different source than they actually did. So, that is a major issue to contend with.

    Aren’t jurors supposed to be told during a trial what the relevant laws are, including concerning self-defense in this case? I can understand this as still being an issue, though, if someone has a strong “gut belief” about it that is different.

    Hearing that there will only be 6 jurors on the case continues to really bother me. It seems to me that it is much more likely that they will end up without an adequately representative jury (all white and conservative, for instance) with such a small jury.

    • bettykath says:

      “it is very normal for people to become confused about the source of information and to think that they got information from a different source than they actually did. So, that is a major issue to contend with.”

      I think this is a real problem if the jurors had or have access to information not in evidence.

  7. Malisha says:

    Where will William Walton post his theory about George Z’s nose? On this thread or somewhere else?

  8. Zimmerman lies…. GZ pack your bags you have and appointment with “God’s Plan.”

    Goodnight everyone… long day…

  9. Beth says:

    I believe George shot Trayvon with intent to silence him forever, George knew he crossed the line that night but he thought he could get away with murder!

  10. Beth Guldin says:

    My husband came to me with a theory that I could not imagine anyone taking at this point with this case….

    George is restraining Trayvon by holding him by his clothes with his dominant hand. The right hand is holding the gun.

    As Trayvon trys to get away from George’s grip, his left hand forms a tighter fist clamping down on Trayvon’s clothing. The right hand automatically clenches around the gun and the gun accidentally discharges shooting Trayvon.

    George, not wanting to lose face with his pal Osterman, does not admit while waiting for police to arrive that the gun goes off when detaining Trayvon and creates an elaborate story of self defense.

    Could Zimmerman change his plea once the trial gets underway and take a plea of involuntary manslaughter?

    • Too late. No one would believe him after all of the lies he told.

    • Malisha says:

      There’s no way I could believe that version (accidental right-hand spasm killed Trayvon, not deliberate depraved killer) because of George’s admitted conduct AFTER the shot. If he shot Trayvon by accident, he wouldn’t “lunge” onto his back and “spread out” his hands and tell folks NOT to call 911.

    • Rachael says:

      Pretty good shot for an accident, especially after GZ did say he aimed to miss his hand – of course he could be lying lmbo!

    • Tzar says:

      problem with that theory, if we are to consider it of any relevance to how GZ’s punishment, is it does not begin to address George’s depravity and tries to constrain the considerable elements of the crime to the last 2-3 seconds, an even smaller time frame than the usual GZ supporters attempt [not saying you are one btw :)]

      you can’t stalk, chase and detain, an unarmed and lawful child at gunpoint and then claim immunity because the gun-that should never have been there-was accidentally fired by a hand-that should never have been there-attached to a body(yours) *all together now* -that should never have been there!!!!
      That is the real crime!

      A woman got 20 years for firing a warning shot, what would you suggest, accidental trigger finger and all, for what George did?

      • Patricia says:

        Tzar, will you permit me to build on your statement, which I find so compelling?

        You cannot stalk, chase, detain and commit physical pain
        on a law-abiding juvenile and then, upon the realization
        that you have broken the law, shoot and kill that juvenile
        to conceal your crime.

      • rachael says:

        Excellent – both of you, because that is, IMO, EXACTLY what he did.

      • gblock says:

        Yeah, this theory would require GZ to admit to several things that he hasn’t admitted to. At best, it could only happen if the gun was already pointed at TM – even if he didn’t intend to shoot it. I would think that would still make it manslaughter – maybe involuntary instead of voluntary.

    • bettykath says:

      Professor’s right. Who’d believe this story after all the others that aren’t even close to this one?

      Besides, apart from the fact that GZ has never made this claim, it doesn’t matter. For the sake of argument, let’s assume it happened this way. He had no right to detain anyone. He had no right to continue to follow Trayvon on foot, nor confront him, nor to touch, let alone hold Trayvon’s clothes, nor to pull a gun on him. All of these actions are illegal. GZ would still be in the big doo-doo of murder 2. His depravity was in the NEN call, getting out of his truck to follow, pulling a gun on TM, jumping on him after the shot.

  11. bettykath says:

    re: jury nullification. I’m for it but it’s to be used wisely and sparingly. Some laws are written very strictly that leave no wiggle room for exceptions. Other laws are written so vaguely that they can be interpreted many different ways. The laws are not always written such that justice prevails unless the jury decides that a particular aw isn’t relevant in a particular case. It’s possible that a defendant has violated the letter of the law but not the spirit. Justice is more important than the strict letter of the law.

  12. bettykath says:

    (1) Do you believe you could ignore W9’s accusation and base your individual verdict only on the evidence admitted in court?

    yes.

    (2) Assuming your answer is “Yes,” why do you think you could ignore it?

    If it isn’t presented as evidence of some sort, her accusations have no relevance.

    Now let us expand the scope of the two questions to include all of the evidence and information you know and your opinion of Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence. Have your answers changed?

    no.

    (3) Do you believe it is possible for you to presume Zimmerman innocent, given what you know?

    Difficult to do, but possible.

    Finally,

    (4) Knowing what you know, would you find him “Not Guilty,” if the prosecution fails to meet its burden of proof because it did not introduce evidence that you recall?

    Even an incompetent prosecution should be able to present enough evidence that GZ did the deed given his many proclamations to that fact and his claim of self-defense. If they cannot, I’d have to vote not guilty and be pissed as hell. I’d join Malisha in an immediate press conference and we’d be a team of at least 2 going after an incompetent, if not corrupt, prosecution team.

    Given that the prosecution isn’t corrupt nor totally incompetent, the questions then revolve around GZ’s claim of self-defense, which isn’t a given b/c he didn’t get immunity.

    Evidence of self-defense = not guilty. This would involve evidence from the prosecutor and cross by defense. And evidence from the defense and cross by the prosecutor. And rebuttal.

    Insufficient evidence of self-defense = guilty but the evidence that is presented would be the determining factor in whether it would be murder 2, manslaughter, or some other included lesser offense.

  13. Brown says:

    For your viewing pleasure, Professor.

  14. LLMPapa says:

    Professor, one of your recent articles inspired this one. Thanks for your insight.

    • Patricia says:

      Absolute best yet, Esteemed Papa!

      Have been waiting for just this comparison for months.

      You outdid yourself.

      A thousand thanks!

    • Xena says:

      LLMPapa. You have a gift, sir. My heart pours out to you in appreciation. I thought about you after watching GZ on Hannity. GZ said that he was nervous and terrorized, not wanting the cops to arrive and find him standing there with his gun in his hand. In another statement, GZ said that he holstered his gun after shooting Trayvon, prior to getting on Trayvon’s back to spread his arms out.

      I know you see the discrepancies. Could you please, please do a Vid on it?

    • JUN says:

      What pisses me off is the Zimmerman KKKlan “Howdy doody” act. Their “Yes Sirs. absolutely” are so fake. Even the news reporters says it sounds like a child, and then you hear the insistence and persistence of their lying to state that it is Zimmerman. I pray that the whole Zimmerman KKKlan pay for their purposeful lying and Papa Z gets perjury during a murder trial. It is so obviously not Zimmerman, and it is insulting for him to even try to say its Zimmerman. I have listened a few times, and even tried to give Z the benefit of the doubt and it still sounds like a kid. Damn, they are evil.

      • Xena says:

        When Papa Zim voluntarily gave a statement to investigators, the first thing he said was that Trayvon’s parents had heard the tape and said it was Trayvon screaming. Then he went into his “absolutely George” mantra.

        You see, they don’t believe there is any evidence to refute their claims. It’s Trayvon’s word against GZ’s, and Trayvon can’t speak for himself, right? Wrong! LLMPapa’s vid makes that clear as a bell.

      • JUN says:

        “ABSOLUTELY 100% George”

        So contrived, fake, phony, scripted… who they kidding with that mess… oh well, hope he enjoys his perjury during a murder trial charge

    • Oh, man.

      Speechless.

      Overwhelming.

      Papa, you not only proved who did it, you exposed the liars for what they are in 3:09 minutes.

      I bow down in thanks.

    • My mind was made up too when I first heard the screams LLMPapa

    • aussie says:

      LLMPapa

      thanks for the fantastic videos, and now for the special service of bringing them here so we don’t have to go hunting for them. You have a way with the art that says so much so smoothly, that takes us 1000s of words in text.

    • Wow! I hope the prosecution will contact you for this. So compelling and masterful. Straight and to the point. I am in awe at your talent of putting a picture to the words in such an overwhelming way.

    • SouthernGirl2 says:

      Thank you so much, LLMPapa!

  15. Malisha says:

    I think it could damage O’Mara horribly to go out there playing the “He deserved to die” game against an unarmed kid. He knows it too, he’s no fool. The reason he’s doing all this irrelevant stuff is to turn public opinion back toward his poor martyred client, George “God made me do it” Zimmerman with his poor martyred “George made me do it” wife.

    If they let character evidence in on Trayvonm they will open a FLOODGATE of evidence on Zimmerman’s past — NOT GOOD!

    O’Mara’s not as stupid as he looks. That’s just my opinion.

    • JUN says:

      I do not feel he is stupid. Passing the bar is tough. However his morals are decrepit considering his in and out of court actions. I do not know if it can be done, but Ng, a serial killer, kind of had his lawyers pull the same thing to lengthen the trial. Is it possible that Zimmerman could be setting up to say he did not have “proper representation”?

    • Xena says:

      @Malisha. IMO, O’Mara issued and posted those subpoenas to satisfy the cries of the GZ Cult. He admitted that he doesn’t expect to find anything in Trayvon’s school records. He must also know that the social media that the GZ Cult represents consists of a mistaken FB account by a person with the same name, and fraudulent emails.

      O’Mara must have known that he was issuing those subpoenas pursuant to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure rather than Criminal Procedure. That gave the State perfect opportunity to object on that basis, because Criminal Procedure requires that subpoenas to third parties be issued by a judge. But who in the GZ Cult knows the difference? They still haven’t figured out that GZ has the burden of proof at his immunity hearing.

      So, I suspect that in a few days the Cult will argue that the State is just downright dirty and corrupt. They will argue what does issuing subpoenas under the wrong Rule have to do with anything, and who made the Rules anyway? You see, I already know their play book. It’s old. It worked back in the days of Jim Crow. They want their country back.

      • I think we are seeing some real incompetence by O’Mara. He should know the rules and he should have followed them.

        Now he looks like a fool.

        I don’t believe Judge Nelson will sign the subpoenas because they are too broad and de la Rionda’s argument that he’s fishing for inadmissible evidence to use in the Court of Public Opinion is spot on.

        Once again we see a lawyer who isn’t ready for prime time.

      • JUN says:

        Xena

        I have never understood the Jim Crow attitudes.

        America has become a shared multicultural and global country.

        It is founded by Native Americans, who are theorized to be descended from Asians.

        Black people through slavery built this country.

        The Chinese made the railroads, and invented fireworks which are used at US holiday celebrations (and is a copy of Chinese celebrations), invented guns and gun powder.

        There is even theory that the Chinese actually discovered the US before Columbus.

        Then they have the nerve to say that people of color ask for handouts, when they ask and proclaim it their country (which is basically asking for a handout).

        Since they want to stay with “white” so bad, lets send them all to the North Pole – they can see white snow all seasons and we modernized people do not have to deal with their BS,

        Or better yet, lets send them to some third world and trade them for some poor kid who has more class and morals then these right wing racist idiots…

      • Xena says:

        I think we are seeing some real incompetence by O’Mara. He should know the rules and he should have followed them.

        It really surprised me. I’m not a lawyer, but in following my Della Street role model, Rules and scheduling were the first things that I learned. O’Mara practices criminal defense and family law, so probably cut and pasted from a subpoena duces tecum issued in a divorce case that he handled. Shame on him.

      • bettykath says:

        Is it possible that Zimmerman has pressured O’Mara into going after the records and O’Mara filed the papers knowing that the request would be refused?

        • Brown says:

          Totally possible.. GZ to O’mara. They did it to me. They posted my school records. Why can’t we get his. O”mara to GZ. Well George he’s a minor, it won’t be admissable. GZ to O’mara. Well that’s not what my father says, and I learned in class…. O’Mara to GZ George I will do want you want but its not going to get in. GZ maybe I can talk to the new Judge. Omara. No george that’s not going to work. GZ: Well I think its time for me to find a lawyer who will get it in. O’mara: Are you firing me? GZ. Yep . O’mara Thank god

          : ^ )))

          attempt at some humor, haven’t had enough expresso yet…

      • bettykath says:

        “Or better yet, lets send them to some third world and trade them for some poor kid who has more class and morals then these right wing racist idiots…”

        Why do you want to do this to a third world country?

      • PYorck says:

        Is it possible that Zimmerman has pressured O’Mara into going after the records and O’Mara filed the papers knowing that the request would be refused?

        I think at least in part it was not about the records (seriously, middle school?) but about the opportunity to announce on his website that he was investigating open questions about Trayvon’s background.

        Certain segments of the audience just love the thug theory and are desperate for validation.

        • jm says:

          “I think at least in part it was not about the records (seriously, middle school?) but about the opportunity to announce on his website that he was investigating open questions about Trayvon’s background.

          Certain segments of the audience just love the thug theory and are desperate for validation.”

          I think this is all money-driven. Keep those donations to the Zimmerman’s defense fund rolling in. In return I’m doing my best to validate your theory that Trayvon was a thug.

      • Rachael says:

        How did O’mara end up mixed up with GZ anyway? I remember GZ’s other lawyers dopping him, butI can’t remember how O’mara ended up with him.

      • rachael says:

        Thank you Brown!

      • bettykath says:

        Brown says:
        September 22, 2012 at 9:41 am

        Totally possible.. GZ to O’mara. They did it to me. They posted my school records. Why can’t we get his. O”mara to GZ. Well George he’s a minor, it won’t be admissable. GZ to O’mara. Well that’s not what my father says, and I learned in class…. O’Mara to GZ George I will do want you want but its not going to get in. GZ maybe I can talk to the new Judge. Omara. No george that’s not going to work. GZ: Well I think its time for me to find a lawyer who will get it in. O’mara: Are you firing me? GZ. Yep . O’mara Thank god
        ——————
        Exactly what I was thinking! Lol. Excellent dialog – worth the second post. We need the humor.

      • jun says:

        @Betty Kash

        We get to help some kids who have no opportunities and we screw some right wing racists

  16. Mr Leatherman,

    Would some of Omara’s antics like playing to the racists for money and trying to ruin Trayvons reputation going too far? The out right lies to have the judge thrown off the case does that hurt his career in any way? Omara’s website for his firm seems to be trying to paint a picture of this kid that doesnt seem truthful. Does the family have any legal recourse against Omara? Could this case damage Omara if so how?

  17. Dennis says:

    Just like I said before, a juror on the Anthony trial had a cruise booked for I believe July the 5th. They wanted to go home and I’m sure they were not happy with the prosecution keeping them locked up away from their families.

  18. TruthBTold says:

    Thanks Professor. Follow

  19. aussie says:

    Haha, I just got called for jury duty this week. Lucky for me I am in an exempt category, I just have to show them proof.

    One day to be chosen, 2 or 3 day trial, it would be a fair thing. But to take people away from their lives and livelihoods for months at a time is guaranteed to bring bad results. They just want OUT even if they are not jailed in a 2-star motel for the duration.

    It would reduce corruption and improve judges’ performance if all judges were appointed on merit, not ELECTED, which automatically makes them beholden to the social group perceived as their backers. A random but regular review of their results would help keep them on the straight and narrow. Ditto prosecutors.

    Without juries there would be a lot less of the preposterous “theories” put forward, based on zero evidence, eg the childhood abuse claims in the Casey Anthony case. They’d have to stick more to the point. Forget what may have happened in a parallel universe, get on with the evidence in this case.

    All that said
    a) W9 is irrelevant
    b) a lot of other similar evidence is irrelevant
    c) I would be forced to presume GZ innocent as a juror, as that would make me part of the court in which he has to be legally presumed innocent.
    d) I’d be mad as hell and vocally so, if the idiot prosecution failed to produce ALL the relevant evidence I already know about.
    e) I know jurors can ask for clarifications or closer looks at evidence, and would use this to the utmost to give them the hint about the things they’d forgotten.

    Is there anything to stop the jurors themselves drawing up a little map and timeline, based on the evidence given to them? first thing I’d do.

    • Patricia says:

      Aussie, first thing you do is first thing most juries do. Usually there’s some early smoozing, then they elect a Foreman (M or F).

      Then the Foreman will act as moderator and they start putting together the timeline. They may avail themselves of timelines presented by the prosecution and defense, but do not usually treat one or the other as gospel.

  20. Xena says:

    I’ve never been called for jury duty, but WOW! have I ran into my share of jurors at the courthouse and those bailiffs having to babysit them. They can’t talk about the case, so when they have a meal break and come outside for a smoke or air, they talk about how they were dying for a cigarette; how many text messages they have to answer; how they almost fell asleep; how they don’t understand legalese. (Yes, many do not know what the judge means when saying “overruled” or “sustained”), how they forgot to set their DVR for a favorite television program; how they need to cancel their kid’s dental appointment and will be billed $50 because it’s less than a 24 hr cancellation.

    My impression is that while trial was being conducted, their minds were on their own personal business. At one time, a juror in a medical malpractice case said they found for the defendant because he had more witnesses than the plaintiff. They didn’t understand most of the evidence, and didn’t want to call the bailiff with questions because they all just wanted to get home. (YIKES)

  21. jun says:

    Questions from me

    1). When a juror, can you ask questions during trial?

    2). Can the court hold it against you to feel emotionally regarding the case as a juror? I am asking this as hearing that scream tape is horrible, learning that it was a kid, Zimmerman lying, & Sybrina would def draw emotions from jurors

    3). Are the jurors asked for their reasons for their vote? If it is a yes, & the reasons are looked over, & the doubt wasnt reasonable, then what happens? Can it be appealed?

    • rachael says:

      No, you can’t as quesions during the trial that I am aware of, although when deliberating, if the jury has a question it can be asked. Perhaps during a recess if the jury has a question it can be asked prior to returning, but not during the trial.

      No the court would not hold it against you if you feel emotional.

      When I’ve been on a jury, the attorneys from both sides want to know the reasons – it is more for like a “report card” of what they did, what was effective, what you believed and what you did not.

      • tinytruthseeker says:

        I am watching a trial right now… it is a trial in Arizona… the jurors are allowed to ask questions…. after each witness testifies the judge asks them if they have any questions… if the answer is yes they present them to the judge immediately… a short discussion occurs between the state, the defense and the judge…. if the state and defense agree the judge reads the question to the witness and they answer…. I have also seen this judge expand the jurors questions with additional questions of his own
        I like this process…. as being a juror can be infuriating at times I imagine…. I’m sure most juries leave the courtroom to deliberate with TONS of unanswered questions that they would have loved to get to ask witnesses

    • 1). When a juror, can you ask questions during trial?

      Most judges are reluctant to allow this although sometimes a judge will permit written questions submitted to the bailiff and reviewed by the judge with the attorneys. The three of them decide whether to answer a question and what the answer will be. The answer is written down and returned to the jury. Jurors are not permitted to question witnesses.

      2). Can the court hold it against you to feel emotionally regarding the case as a juror? I am asking this as hearing that scream tape is horrible, learning that it was a kid, Zimmerman lying, & Sybrina would def draw emotions from jurors?

      No, instincts and emotions are part of who and what we are. For example, I rely on my instincts and am extremely emotional. I do not try to suppress them. In fact, I trust them more than my reason most of the time. Without emotions, I would feel dead.

      3). Are the jurors asked for their reasons for their vote? If it is a yes, & the reasons are looked over, & the doubt wasnt reasonable, then what happens? Can it be appealed?

      No, with only one exception, jurors are never asked and never required to justify their decisions. That happens when evidence turns up that the jury was improperly influenced by outside contact, bribes or threats.

      • JUN says:

        Thanks Freddy

        That assures me, as the jury system can be just as corrupt, due to the fact they can simply have a man in, to be the one that is not unanimous with others. I kind of feel sorry for the jury because if they are moral or have any sort of decency, hearing those screams, lies from Zimmerman, watching Trayvon’s family would truly trouble their soul and their thoughts of Zimmerman. From what I read outside of here, I heard that they can retry defendants if there is any “fraud” in the courtroom, and that answers that inquiry.

  22. rachael says:

    (1) Yes.

    (2) While I do believe her and I do see how it is attributable to GZ’s character, it was so long ago, they were kids and I do not feel it has any bearing on the relevance of this trial.

    (3) No.

    (4) No. I would have to disqualify myself.

    • rachael says:

      PS – buy maybe I am just too certain at this point that the prosecution will fail to meet its burden of proof, which at this time, I just cannot see.

      • jun says:

        Rachael,

        So do u believe the prosecution will meet it?

        I am confused on your current position

      • rachael says:

        I guess what I am saying is that knowing what I do know, I don’t see how they can, but I think I am too biased.

      • JUN says:

        I see… I do not feel I am being biased. I tried giving Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt and read through the evidence objectively. I am not a detective or lawyer or anything, but through my knowledge of science and physics, I have an idea how they will present the evidence. I feel most important is the evidence, the presentation, hearing all sorts of reasonable arguments, and then go in for the kill, where there is no more doubt on how it happened. I look at it like chess.

        All Zimmerman has are his lies. I have not done statistics but in general, a victim will put up a fight before being killed, so I do not think it will be the first time they deal with the defendant claiming injury and working around it. They need an impartial jury who have intelligence to understand law.

        I feel a lot of dirty laundry of Sanford Police will be coming out at trial. Omara will also be arguing the evidence and it’s integrity. Omara will eventually during trial, have to admit his client was stalking Trayvon, and argue the “innocence” of Zimmerman’s stalking. Omara will also have to argue all of Zimmerman’s statements because his credibility will be impeached at trial and SYG. Omara will also have to attack witnesses (I am guessing he will). The prosecution has to be on their ‘A” game as some of the witnesses are children, and Omara and Zimmerman may bully them on the stand.

      • Rachael says:

        I mean I am too biased to be a juror because I cant set aside what I know and look objectively only at what is/will be presented. I just would not be able to, I would have to disqualify myself.

        • TruthBTold says:

          Yeah, I’m with Rachael. Maybe if it was a different case that I wasn’t really paying attention to, then yes. I have no chance of being on this jury, so I don’t feel bad for adhering to or upholding our safeguards and presumption afforded to all.

    • Tzar~~I don’t need a video to prove Z’s guilt. (hey, I don’t reside in Pinellas County lol) I want to see a chain of events that proves guilt or innocence. I will even weigh circumstantial evidence.

      • jun says:

        Okay

        Fair

        so you are held back because it is not drawn out in front of you?

        How do you feel about the rights of the deceased? Summarily, I feel that a defendant should assure me with proof it was self defense… I kind of feel the SYG infringes on a deceased rights to be tried fairly in court.

  23. Fred~~

    Questions

    (1) Having been exposed to inadmissible evidence, such as W9′s accusation that Zimmerman sexually abused her multiple times during a ten-year period that began when she was 6-years-old and he was 8-years-old, do you believe you could ignore her accusation and base your individual verdict only on the evidence admitted in court?

    [[Yes, I could completely ignore W9’s accusations.]]

    (2) Assuming your answer is “Yes,” why do you think you could ignore it?

    [[I feel it is totally irrevelant to the case being tried. These were kids for goodness sake. Why this witness came forward at this time is beyond me. I am assuming she had a fallout with Z along the way and had an axe to grind. I think she should have a mental evaluation after listening to her testimony. She knew that Z was a fondler yet went over to visit him willingly knowing what may be in store for her. I am not buying it. ]]

    (3) Do you believe it is possible for you to presume Zimmerman innocent, given what you know?

    [[As to Z’s guilt or innocent, my thoughts have been like a yo yo. I am leaning towards guilt but ‘beyond a reason doubt’ is still nagging at me. ]]

    (4) Knowing what you know, would you find him “Not Guilty,” if the prosecution fails to meet its burden of proof because it did not introduce evidence that you recall?

    [[No but…. Now here’s my rub….. I want the prosecution to prove everything they promised to do in their opening statement. They better bring on more than what I have learned so far as I may be the one creating a hung jury. I want to see evidence to support the charge of second-degree murder. I want to be shown proof that Zimmerman had a depraved mind. I want the prosecution to paint a picture for me, one that will authenicate the one Angela Corey applied her brush strokes to. When I make my decision of guilt or not guilty, I want to feel confident that I was making the right call. As at the time of this writing, I cannot honestly say that I could do that. ]]

    • jun says:

      Fair

      So you are only held back by the “depraved mind” aspect?

      • jun~~it is not just the ‘depraved mind’, I want to see more concrete factual evidence presented by the state to convince me beyond that reasonable doubt. Thus far, there are some thing still open for interpretation. Some witnesses are only as good as their credibility. I would have to see them in the witness box and observe them especially how they hold up under cross.

      • jun says:

        What questions are in your mind, regarding the evidence? It says leaning towards guilt but you a couple doubts. What are your reasonable doubts?

      • Tzar says:

        @MSF, Do you think only a video of Zimmerman shooting Trayvon in cold blood and in control could convince you beyond a reasonable doubt?

      • Patricia says:

        Jun, it is imperative that the prosecution make it clear that

        (A) GZ’s scrapes & nosebleed were accidental, of his own clumsiness, inconsequential and without pain so a REASONABLE person would not have a REASONABLE fear for his life,

        (B) his testimony about head-bashing and smothering are BOGUS based on evidence and medical records,

        (C) based on his criminal justice training GZ knew he had severely broken the law by stalking and detaining (and possibly torturing by an armlock) Trayvon,

        (D) he was in control of Trayvon BEFORE shooting him,

        (E) He knew police officers were on their way, so they could take “the suspect” away,

        (F) Being in the ascendant position, Trayvon was trapped and could not harm GZ while he waited for police,

        (G) There were ADVANTAGES to George in killing him, specifically avoidance of arrest,

        (H) He had time to decide to draw his gun, AIM specifically before firing. He was safe at that time (see D,E,F, above).

        Therefore, THAT DELIBERATE DECISION, to murder Trayvon to ELIMINATE THE WITNESS to the crime he had just committed (see C, above) is PROOF OF A DEPRAVED MIND.

        The jury needs to understand that a depraved mind made the DECISION to kill, when it was avoidable.

      • Fed-up taxpayer says:

        Prof Leatherman: Commission of which other crime? Should that have been charged?

        • Assault, Battery and Unlawful Imprisonment or restraint committed against Trayvon Martin and then he decided to conceal his commission of those crimes by killing him and claiming self-defense.

          I am against the death penalty in all cases and I am not recommending that the prosecution should present the case to the grand jury to obtain a murder one charge with that aggravating circumstance alleged.

          I was just noting the possibility in response to Patricia’s persuasive summation of the case.

      • Fed-up taxpayer says:

        Thanks for your speedy answer! So if it’s M2, then Assault, Battery and Unlawful Imprisonment cannot also be charged? Do you think the prosecuting team will present evidence of these so as to justify M2?
        Or would they rely on discrepancies in testimony mostly?

        As LLMPapa pointed out, the 911 calls record absolute horror (and the caller sounded shocked herself), and I’m on the same page, but there’s a many out there that’re having none of it, and it seems a lot of them live in Florida.

      • gblock says:

        I really have trouble with the theory that GZ killed TM to conceal his restraint of (and perhaps assault on) the boy. Surely he would realize that detaining him could be ignored or minimized (especially since he’s managed to avoid jail time for other charges in the past), while killing him was bound to lead to more serious consequences?

        GZ has admitted that he shot TM. What is harder to prove is the actual sequence of events involved in the encounter between them.

        • Patricia says:

          GBlock.

          He did not intend his heroic endeavor to go so wrong – and to have to face his peers, once agani as a failure. He was infuriated at this “asshole” who would not submit to his demands (while being clueless as to the effect he had on Trayvon). He blamed everything on Trayvon, including the physical mess he ended up as.

          Solution: kill, and lie.

          Almost got away with it.

    • cielo62 says:

      Mainstream- good thing this thread is about Zimmerman or I would call you out on that sexual abuse statement you made. You sir know NOTHING about incest and your comment that blamed the victim (gee where have we seen that?) really got my dander up. To me, her statement verifies that GZ has been a sociopath from birth. Some abusive scum is just born. I believe GZ is one of them.

  24. Jun it wasn’t they did a lousy job; the evidence just wasn’t there. I actually was in Florida during this time. I was so ashamed of how everyday citizens were camped out at her home with picket signs as if they were God.

    Casey had a skilled attorney with the white hair. He was skilled and knew just how to handle the outrageous media. The issue with man kind is that when the jury of your peers state you are innocent. People try to attack the jury and lawyers. Casey Anthony was found not guilty but people tend to point blame because they disagree with the verdict.

    Same with OJ. They found him not guilty and people refuse to accept that; it is just the legal system.

    That is the law if you are judged by a jury of your peers in a court of law the verdict is suppose to stand. As Professor Leatherman mentioned in a post he was tired of the games in the legal system (if I’m correct).

    Even as I look at the Zimmerman case; the jury will judge according to the evidence presented. I just hope they find this guy GUILTY so he may take his place in “God’s Plan.”

    Excuse my spelling just got of from work.. Will be back a little later…Must snooze now…

    • jun says:

      Everyone is entitled

      I dont know much about the Casey Anthony case but if it was lack of evidence, then I guess it is fair. I would not want to sebd someone to the chair if I wasnt sure

      As for Zimmerman, time will tell. I personally feel Corey can prove her probable cause affidavit, however, some may feel its manslaughter. Since it was done on a minor with a gun, its still 25 – life. I can only see argument from Omara, arguing the innocence of Zimmerman’s stalking, playing and exaggerating Z “injury”, & have papa Z lie on the stand again.

  25. jun says:

    1). I could ignore it

    2). I could attribute it to Zimmerman’s character, however, I would be more concerned with the incident evidence. Also, I dont feel it can be proven, although I dont feel she lying

    3). Given the evidence, I can’t presume he is innocent. I base this solely on all the evidence. It sounds a complete stranger stalking and chasing a kid with a gun, threatening him, then killing him, then lying about it

    4). Obviously if the prosecution fails to meet its burden, I would have to find the defendant not guilty. However, it sounds unlikely, given the amount of evidence, & my understanding of science and physics, that the prosecution wont meet its burden.

    • jm says:

      jun says: “Obviously if the prosecution fails to meet its burden, I would have to find the defendant not guilty. However, it sounds unlikely, given the amount of evidence, & my understanding of science and physics, that the prosecution wont meet its burden.”

      You know I thought the prosecution did well in the Casey Anthony case, a slam-dunk, yet the jury didn’t feel the same. Hopefully the prosecution in the Zimmerman case does a better job in explaining the evidence in a way the jury can understand.

      • jun says:

        Jm

        I didnt pay much attention to the Casey Anthony case but it sounds like the prosecution did a lousy job.

        For example, when Baez stated that “Caylee drowned”

        I would have asked for the details of the drowning and why the body was moved with tape over its mouth.

        This case, they simply need good explanations and find a good intelligent impartial jury and it should work out. The only real arguments are concerning “following”, Zimmerman’s credibility, witnesses and forensics

  26. jm says:

    (1) Having been exposed to inadmissible evidence, such as W9’s accusation that Zimmerman sexually abused her multiple times during a ten-year period that began when she was 6-years-old and he was 8-years-old, do you believe you could ignore her accusation and base your individual verdict only on the evidence admitted in court?

    I could not totally ignore this witness because if true, it addresses George Zimmerman’s lack of character in his early years leading to the person Zimmerman is today – although just listening to the story, I don’t know if she is credible so I may be able to overlook her accusation.

    (2) Assuming your answer is “Yes,” why do you think you could ignore it?

    I think I disqualified myself – but if I didn’t, I would say it is not relevant to the current charges of 2nd degree murder.

    (3) Do you believe it is possible for you to presume Zimmerman innocent, given what you know?

    No. I know way more than the average person about Zimmerman and I have already found him guilty and I doubt anything could change my mind. The story Zimmerman told in the Fox/Hannity interview has taken away any doubt that Zimmerman is anything but a lying psycho murderer.

    (4) Knowing what you know, would you find him “Not Guilty,” if the prosecution fails to meet its burden of proof because it did not introduce evidence that you recall?

    I will be so angry if this turns out to be a case like Casey Anthony where 12 jurors felt the prosecution did not meet the burden of proof.

    I am obviously not the person to be on George Zimmerman’s jury.

  27. Fred~~this is an excellent post! Thank you so much!

    My view on sequestering jurors… A potential juror is required to answer the call for jury duty unless he/she can come up with a believable reason why he/she should be exempt. They are taken away from their families, employment and daily routines and their lives are disrupted. There are a select few who like to sit on a jury.
    By sequestering a juror it is like they are being imprisioned in a hotel room and cut off from all society for a crime that they are to judge but some feel they are being punished for the crime committed by another. For those who resent that they are forced to sit on jury, IMO, it may build up a resentment in them and they will not be able to weigh the evidence freely and make sound judgement calls.

    With our technology advancing at the speed of light, I believe one day that juries will become passé. For instance, we have witnesses who are not allowed to remain in the courtroom until after they are excused from testifying. Nothing stops these same witnesses from running home and turning on their tellies to watch the proceedings or view it on the internet via live stream. We cannot lock them all up in holding tanks at the courtroom under guard until they take the stand. I think one day that we will see professional jurors who will be trained in weighing cases. They will make it their career….

    The only thing we can rely on now is that a juror who has been chosen to weigh a case, has answered their questionaires honestly, will be thorough in their deliberations and take the case serious to arrive at their final decision of a guilty or not guilty verdict. If a juror is sequestered, they are more likely to make rash decisions so they can go home and resume some normalcy in their lives. With that, I agree with you, Fred, sequestering a jury should become taboo. JMO

  28. Tee says:

    I know this is off topic a little but this discussion has made me think of it. Is MOM to influence the potentional jury? I jus don’t understand his reasoning for wanting to post Martin school records on his site this is a minor that we’re talking about this is not a grown man. MOM said that he didn’t want this case being tried in the media isn’t that’s exactly what he’s doing?

    • jun says:

      He posted the records on his site?

      I heard he wasnt supposed to

    • rachael says:

      Where did you hear he wanted to post school records on his site?

      • Xena says:

        It might just be a misunderstanding. The State’s objection to the subpoenas alleges that O’Mara was wrong to post the subpoenas on his website. There were other allegations on that matter as well. Based on what I read by GZ’s fans thereafter, It encouraged them to discuss “Purple Drink” and things that Trayvon purportedly did in which there is no evidence to support.

  29. Tzar says:

    Frances Robles ‏@RoblesHerald
    Osterman book: #Trayvon took too long from 7-11; he may have been scoping houses to break into. Or afraid of being trapped by #Zimmerman
    Expand
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    • Tzar says:

      So for how long were they following this kid?

      • Tee says:

        I think osterman may have called George to alert him of trayvon I really do. And where does osterman live that he was able to be there with Zimmerman that night so quickly. What friend drops everything and join you throughout those first few day that”s strange if the friend is not a lawyer. This is murder not some dui

      • Tzar sounds like they were following TM for awhile

      • That’s a very good question.

        BTW, I’ve been getting the feeling that Osterman has been deliberately nudging Zimmerman under the bus even as he purports to be his best friend and strongest supporter.

        How about you?

      • PYorck says:

        I don’t know what to make of Osterman. It seems that he is desperately trying to influence the narrative in some way. Unfortunately I don’t understand how or why exactly. Since he shows so little regard for GZ’s best interest, I think it is about his own role in this, whatever that may be.

      • jm says:

        It may be Osterman is just dumb.and went along with what Zimmerman actually told him and wrote about it.

        It is apparent Osterman did not do much research to try to stay in line with George’s story to the police. I think he was in a hurry to get the book out and make some money on the death of Trayvon like Zimmerman was doing on his website.

      • Xena says:

        So for how long were they following this kid?

        BTW, I’ve been getting the feeling that Osterman has been deliberately nudging Zimmerman under the bus even as he purports to be his best friend and strongest supporter.

        How about you?

        This goes back to that M&I Bank vid. The prosecution would not have entered it into discovery unless it has a purpose. There are some, including myself, who think it is Osterman on that vid at that bank at 6:38 p.m. The prosecution has GZ’s phone records, but they are not released to the public. What if Osterman spotted Trayvon and called GZ?

        Professor, I have contemplated that Osterman is throwing GZ under the bus because from the onset, Osterman was named as a witness for the prosecution. One of O’Mara’s reasons for not approving MO’s book is because GZ cannot have contact with the prosecutions’ witnesses.

        • jm says:

          “I have contemplated that Osterman is throwing GZ under the bus because from the onset, Osterman was named as a witness for the prosecution.”

          What is Osterman’s motive for throwing GZ under the bus?

        • jm says:

          ” There are some, including myself, who think it is Osterman on that vid at that bank at 6:38 p.m. ”

          I have questions regarding Osterman’s home vs Zimmerman’s home. Where was Osterman reported to be when Shellie called him about the shooting and how long would it take for Osterman to be at crime scene if he was at home vs if he was in the vicinity. Has anyone established where Osterman was supposed to be at the time of Shellie’s phone call?

          Did Osterman have a white shirt on on the bank video which would be in line with one of the witnesses saying there was someone in white t-shirt at crime scene?

      • aussie says:

        Osterman was wearing a black short-sleeve t-shirt in the bank vid.

        My theory is he went from there to visit GZ. His timing was perfect for seeing Trayvon walking along Oregon Ave towards the outside end of the short-cut that comes out near Taaffe’s place. He would have mentioned what he saw while visiting. He stayed with Shellie while GZ “ducked out to check”, so was still there, 2 streets away, when the shooting took place.

        I do NOT believe he was with GZ for any of the incidents. George needed to be the hero alone.

      • Xena says:

        What is Osterman’s motive for throwing GZ under the bus?

        Can’t say for sure, but if that is indeed MO on the M&I Bank vid; if his vehicle was identified as leaving RTL just after the gunshot; and/or if GZ’s phone records provide that they talked just before his NEN call, MO might have to tell things on the witness stand that are not beneficial to GZ’s defense.

      • if i remember correctly 2 witnesses stated that a man was on top of TM, and that he was wearing a white shirt

      • Tzar says:

        PFL said:
        “That’s a very good question.

        BTW, I’ve been getting the feeling that Osterman has been deliberately nudging Zimmerman under the bus even as he purports to be his best friend and strongest supporter.

        How about you?”

        I honestly wondered about that, but I have come to accept that these people may actually as be just as stupid as they appear.

      • PYorck says:

        I honestly wondered about that, but I have come to accept that these people may actually as be just as stupid as they appear.

        Stupid or not, as law enforcement Osterman knew that GZ needed another lengthy conflicting account with new details like a hole in the head.

        I don’t think he did it for GZ. He did it for himself. I don’t think he did it for fame and fortune either.

        One possibility is that he accepted GZ’s initial story. Perhaps he was willing to overlook a little spin, but he believed that GZ was the good guy in this. Then as more and more evidence comes out and the events of the recent months unfold he realizes that he was wrong. Then he is outed by the media and he wants absolutely no part of this.

        It is possible that he is trying to distance himself from something he has done. Perhaps he is just resentful because he has been conned again. He is not (yet) willing to turn on GZ openly. However he is willing to tell the story that he believed or chose to accept, GZ be damned.

        Notice how he is careful to qualify everything GZ told him. I think he is not so much asking us to believe it but justifying why he did.

        • Brown says:

          That makes sense what you are stating. But even though he is your friend of six years and you guys might hang out. How do you put your family and daughter at risk? He could of supported him from a distance. Meaning phone calls, take him to places, etc. But to put him in your home with your child. I don’t get that. My first and foremost responsible would be to my family not my friend. That being said, I think MO knows GZ is capable of what he did, and can’t bring himself to admit it.

      • Tee says:

        What color shirt did osterman have on that night it may clear up the witness statement about seeing a man in a white shirt I know it’s a long shot but I would check because he may have very well been there that night and got lost because of his position in law.

        • Brown says:

          IIRC,
          One of the witness refer to mulitple people yelling in their audio interivew, but I felt that they shied away from that. If I find the audio I am writing about will post, and get your thoughts…

        • Patricia says:

          Tee, per FDLE report reviewed today: grey.

          Have wondered if witness “John”, Asian male, first on scene before SPD Officer Tim Smith – was wearing a white T-shirt that night and that the witness from her bedroom that observed the milling about of GZ, Officer Tim and “Jon” mistook the wearers.

          John W#6 also referenced GZ as wearing a red jacket, with white under(shirt).

          Keep in mind how dark and overcast w/rainclouds that night was, and that TM and GZ at thelocation of the shooting were away from any porchlight illumination.

          FYI, TM’s hoodie was a pullover, so no undershirt visible.

        • Patricia says:

          Apologies, Tee – I misunderstood your question as to what color shirt GZ was wearing.

          A check of the bank ATM video earlier that night might confirm Osterman’s shirt color – class, can anyone supply Tee with that link?

        • Brown says:

          http://trayvon.axiomamnesia.com/people/witnesses/witness-11-files-trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-case/

          read written statement per written statement……said it sounded two or three guys maybe a group….

  30. Digger says:

    If the prosecution fails to introduce evidence of burden of proof, I would be obligated as a juror, even if I believed “guilty”, to vote “not guilty” based on the law. If we do not respect our laws then we have no judicial system and would become barbaric.

    What I would like to know is what both defense and prosecution attorney opinions are on our system of justice, what laws “they” would change, and why. For instance, Professor, are you happy with our justice or do you have thought of ways that would be more
    correctly administered and humane. Using the Casey Anthony case, what went wrong, with that verdict, if anything? It is one where I believe prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore the jury had no alternative but to vote as they did, or else they would have taken the law into their own hands. Regardless of how the public saw it and still have opinion, is it right
    that we request a jury to bring in a verdict according to our personal wishes and not by following the law as it applies.

    • I refer to our criminal justice system as a sewer. After 30 years, I had enough and walked away from it.

      I have a lot of ideas about how to improve it, but this is not the time or place for me to go off on that tangent.

      Little by little you will see me mention the stuff that bothers me and propose fixes.

      I will say this. Our adversary system cannot function optimally unless the defense is on equal footing with the prosecutor when it comes to resources to commit to a case.

      The criminal defense attorney is liberty’s last defender and they have to be equipped for the task.

      Mostly, they are not equipped to compete, so we are not seeing much “justice” going on in our courts.

  31. thejbmission says:

    Thank you Professor,
    For addressing my question. I didn’t realize that sequestering is a hot topic of debate in the world of law. I totally understand why a juror would make up excuses to get out of jury duty, especially not knowing which trial they’ll be seated.
    If I remember correctly, the jurors were paid $40 a day during the Anthony trial. Surely not enough to pay bills when they were out for 5 wks.
    Florida, howerer is largely a retirement community which means educated people who have time to spare, although I only recall one retired juror on the Anthony panel, so this might be a moot point.
    Do you think O’Mara will move for an non-sequestered jury? Honestly, I don’t think it will matter because the evidence against Zim is strong.

    • You said,

      “Do you think O’Mara will move for an non-sequestered jury? Honestly, I don’t think it will matter because the evidence against Zim is strong.”

      I don’t know what he will do. He seems determined to continue trolling for sympathy and dollars by pandering to right wing racists while trying his case in the court of public opinion. I see no sign that he is in any hurry to try this case. I suppose he will oppose sequestration and continue trying his case in the court of public opinion right on through the trial.

      I hate to say this, because it is so foreign to my way of thinking, but I think he’s playing the race card for all it’s worth hoping to continue poisoning the well of potential jurors to such an extent that he will get at least one juror who will fly under the radar and vote “Not Guilty,” regardless of how strong the prosecution’s case turns out to be. Everything else will be gravy and if he gets an acquittal, he will be dancing in the streets.

      Raiikun provided some census information in a recent thread. IIRC, approximately 70% of Seminole County is White and I imagine the majority of them are conservative. His chances of a conservative all White racist jury are probably pretty good.

      I wonder how his dog and pony show is playing in Seminole County?

      I think belief that Zimmerman is innocent is dropping nationwide, but the only place likely to matter when the case goes to trial is Seminole County.

      • jm says:

        “I hate to say this, because it is so foreign to my way of thinking, but I think he’s playing the race card for all it’s worth hoping to continue poisoning the well of potential jurors to such an extent that he will get at least one juror who will fly under the radar and vote “Not Guilty,” regardless of how strong the prosecution’s case turns out to be. Everything else will be gravy and if he gets an acquittal, he will be dancing in the streets.”

        I have come to dislike O’Mara almost as much as Zimmerman with Osterman in third place. What an ugly cast of characters on team Zimmerman, not to exclude Shellie and Zimmerman’s parents after they set up a website to appeal for money from the same people who contributed to GZ, probably racists.

      • Xena says:

        Professor, I don’t remember if Papa Zim is on the witness list, but if he is, testifies, and the prosecution crosses effectively, the race card might backfire on O’Mara. Papa Zim told investigators that if the people committing burglaries were Asian, GZ would have called NEN. I wonder why Papa Zim didn’t say if they had been Hispanic or White?

        So the cross has to be specific, first asking his knowledge of GZ’s calls to NEN in the 6 months previous to 2/26/12. During that time, GZ only made 5 calls to NEN and out of the 5, 1 regarding a suspicious person outside of Taaffe’s house.
        .
        It appears that GZ’s concentration on crime fighting was based on the reports of others. He only personally seen one suspicious person, and that person was wearing a leather jacket — not a hoodie. The question then becomes, if it had been White teens committing burglaries, would GZ have called in a suspicious person report? What if a White teen walking alone in the rain on a Sunday evening wearing shorts and flip flops? What if a White teen walking along in the rain on a Sunday evening with a Mohawk hair-cut?

        If Papa Zim answers yes, that GZ would have called them in as suspicious, it makes the fathers, husbands, boyfriends, sons, and grandsons of that White jury all subject to be profiled, pursued, and killed by GZ, IMO.

        • Patricia says:

          Zena, the “Asians” remark was just PaZimm schmoozing with guys he considered to be racist cops. He doesn’t know what’s in his son’s mind. I don’t see how that question can be asked.

      • Xena says:

        @Patricia

        Zena, the “Asians” remark was just PaZimm schmoozing with guys he considered to be racist cops. He doesn’t know what’s in his son’s mind. I don’t see how that question can be asked.

        Papa Zim made that statement on his recorded interview as though speaking for GZ. It’s open for use, whether it is used or not.

      • thejbmission says:

        You’re right Professor,

        I totally agree with you. O”Mara’s sure been busy playing up to his minions. He may have been a class-A, respected attorney at one time but I think those days are over. He’s kind of pathetic, isn’t he?

  32. Patricia says:

    Professor, I served on a jury where the evidence was overwhelmingly against the defendent, and the defense attorney tried to get us to cozy up to the old Scottish verdicts of “Not proved,”
    describing the three choices juries in Scotland are given.).

    We all curled our lip and brough in a guilty verdict.

    1) Re the accusation of juvenile child molestation: has nothing to do with this case. I would ignore it. Zero impact on me as a juror in this case.

    2) From what I have learned so far, I look forward to GZ being found guilty. BUT — if the prosecution does a lousy job and does not present the evidence, I would be EXCEEDINGLY pissed (and vent to the press later) but with huge and overwhelming regret I could not find Zimmerman guilty. A schmuck, yes, but guilty, no.

    3) I am totally, completely and unalterably opposed to jury nullification. That’s vigilante action. You don’t like the law? Work to change it. We are a nation of laws. Do not take the law into your own hands. If you do – do not be surprised when the law cannot protect YOU.

    • Malisha says:

      Patricia, I agree 100% with your paragraph 1.

      All I could add to your paragraph 2 would be that I would be sure, if the prosecution did a lousy enough job to result in acquittal, that they deliberately “threw” the case and therefore, I would immediately vote NOT GUILTY but I would then give every news outlet I could find a complete description of the jury deliberations and make such a public fuss as I could possibly make (whether legal or illegal, tortious or not) and I would go to Washington and demand action by the DOJ against not only the SPD but also the court itself and the prosecutor’s office and I would become the worst nightmare those corrupt officials ever HAD.

      As to paragraph 3, I have to say that I’m not as inalterably opposed to jury nullification as I used to be. The reason: again, corruption in the courts, prosecutorial misconduct, etc. I would never use jury nullification to convict, but I am sure that I would possibly consider it to acquit, or at least to hang a jury and get a mistrial to provide time for me to “go public” and try to bust a corrupt prosecutor if he or she was trying to kill somebody through use of the court system. I have seen the court system used as a weapon when everyone involved, prosecutors included, realize they are doing deliberate wrong. It is my belief that this is the destruction of our society, right here. We survived slavery, civil war, economic collapse, all sorts of national and international calamities, and finally, our own courts are destroying us. I might feel a lot different about jury nullification if I weren’t so disgusted by what I have seen courts do. :–(

      • mataharley says:

        Malisha I agree with your basic observations of jury nullification, but would like to make an addition. Our law says that jury trials are decided by peers. Jury nullification is not illegal (and is now codified in at least one State). Nor are jurors who make their decisions using jury nullification subject to any charges for doing so.

        In that, jury nullification falls completely within our nation of laws and due process. The jury decides… whether you agree with their decision or not. Prosecutors and defense lawyers have always gone out of their way to avoid educating jurors on jury nullification rights, fearing negative… but legal… results.

        In fact, jury nullification is – in it’s purest form – an example of legal and potentially powerful civil disobedience. It allows those specific peers – empowered by their jury selection – to formally, and effectively, protest a law that they cannot get their elected ones to change willingly.

        While it will not reverse an unpopular law on the books, if multiple juries do the same in multiple trials INRE the same law, it will severely neuter enforcement since LEOs and prosecutors will find it a waste of time to bring defendants to trial, only to have a jury acquit.

        Or… put another way…. you might want to say it’s a way to get a enforcement of a law enjoined by the population instead of by judicial ruling.

  33. Xena says:

    Professor,
    The questions really reach down into the depths of thoughts if selected for the jury. The following are my answers, and they are honest.

    (1) Having been exposed to inadmissible evidence, such as W9′s accusation that Zimmerman sexually abused her multiple times during a ten-year period that began when she was 6-years-old and he was 8-years-old, do you believe you could ignore her accusation and base your individual verdict only on the evidence admitted in court?

    (2) Assuming your answer is “Yes,” why do you think you could ignore it?

    My answer addresses both questions. Osterman’s claim that GZ was estranged from his family until this case leaves unanswered questions for me, and Witness 9’s statement would be in my mind. That would cause me to question the credibility of any of GZ’s family members that might testify in his behalf. The question weighing on me would be why, after years of estrangement after Witness 9 disclosed to them, would they want to help GZ now?

    (3) Do you believe it is possible for you to presume Zimmerman innocent, given what you know?

    Based on forensic evidence and numerous inconsistencies in his statements, no.

    (4) Knowing what you know, would you find him “Not Guilty,” if the prosecution fails to meet its burden of proof because it did not introduce evidence that you recall?

    If the prosecution failed to meet its burden of proof, then I would have to enter a vote of not guilty. Then I would imagine GZ riding off into the sunset, never to show his face in public again.

  34. Two sides to a story says:

    “Treating jurors with honesty and respect, instead of suspicion and distrust, as though they were naughty children requiring continuous adult supervision, is the mature, honorable and decent way to go.”

    And exactly the way all adults should be treating one another in daily life. Thank you, Mr. L.

  35. mataharley says:

    FL, odd timing for this particular post and your mention of jury nullification. I’ve been aware of the positives and negatives of jury nullification for some time. I also know that, when called for jury duty and if interviewed, uttering those two words means I’ll be going home in a heartbeat….

    You may find it of particular interest that New Hampshire implemented a new law a couple of months ago, sanctioning jury nullification. To my knowledge, it’s the only State that has. That’s going to create some havoc there for judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers alike…. not to mention LEOs.

    http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/bill_docket.aspx?lsr=91&sy=2012&sortoption=&txtsessionyear=2012&txtbillnumber=hb146&q=1

    Would be interesting to find out if this clogs the future NH court dockets, especially with drug violators hoping for a favorable jury outcome. The opposite effect is that law enforcement dials down enforcing any controversial laws, such as those associated with marijuana use and growing, anticipating an acquittal.

    In the case of Zimmerman, and when you are formulating questions to potential jurors, it might be prudent to get a handle on the individual juror’s attitude towards self defense in general. i.e what self defense rights they believe an aggressor has if his/her aggression was not premeditated intent to murder, but just panic when they realized the dangerous condition they caused.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      “if his/her aggression was not premeditated intent to murder, but just panic when they realized the dangerous condition they caused.”

      Could very well be GZ’s dilemma. He seems not to recognize this or think he can skate on it.

    • Good questions to ask prospective jurors.

      I’ve used jury nullification to win a few cases, without specifically mentioning it, of course.

      Didn’t even draw an objection.

      Of course, the prosecutor wasn’t terribly enthusiastic either and that kind of was apparent in one of the cases.

      Good to see your fonts again.

      • mataharley says:

        Thanks for the welcome back after a sojourn, FL.

        I’m not familiar with what is acceptable questions in jury voir dire. So I’m actually curious if it’s fair game to query a juror’s base understanding of justifiable self defense when pondering M2 elements.

        Obviously, if they feel an aggressor/defendant – who didn’t intend to commit murder, but then panicked when they found themselves in a situation of their own creation – is justified with that panic, they will dismiss to the “criminal acts” element of M2. This is the problem with most of the Zim faithful. They only see one moment…. that Zim had the (erroneous) perception his life was in danger, so he was justified in shooting.

        So it strikes me that the State would want to weed out jurors who will view the events prior to the meeting and shooting as unrelated during jury selection. And the heart of that goes to their perspectives on self defense, and what part aggression plays into that.

        Would appreciate your thoughts as to whether such questions would be objected to by the bench.

        • The rule in most jurisdictions is that an attorney may ask any question that is reasonably related to the intelligent exercise of cause and peremptory challenges. There are exceptions to this rule relating to privacy and religious preferences, but even those can become fair game, for example, when death qualifying a potential juror in a capital case.

          You can’t ask jurors to promise to do anything but you can ask them hypothetical questions regarding their opinions about the use of deadly force in self-defense.

          If the answer varies from the jury instruction given, you can read the instruction to them and point out the difference.

          Then you ask them if they will follow the instruction despite their disagreement with it. If they answer yes, ask them why.

          Then ask them if they were on trial, would they want a person with their beliefs about self-defense sitting on the jury in this case.

          Always ask them to explain their answers and follow the bouncing ball.

          Always took three weeks to death qualify and select a jury in a capital case where most of the questions were about pretrial publicity and their views about the death penalty. Of course, we were doing individual voir dire rather than questioning the entire panel.

          Not all jurisdictions permit attorney voir dire. Federal court does not, although we made some inroads in the Western District of Washington as former state prosecutors and judges made it to the federal bench. They were used to it and willing to allow some attorney voir dire.

          Basically, judge conducted voir dire is useless, as far as I am concerned. Usually, they limit their questions to stuff like will you follow the instructions that I give you.

          Clueless!

      • mataharley says:

        Thank you for taking the time to answer in detail, FL

      • jm says:

        Professor: “I oppose juror sequestration and recommend that it be abolished. I believe many judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys agree. I write to support my recommendation and to solicit your views regarding this important matter.”

        Ever since the Casey Anthony case, I have come to believe sequestered juries are not good.

        Not being a law professional, I thought the prosecution presented their case well but I was also influenced by things in the media that swayed me to believe Casey Anthony was guilty.

        Having said that, I thought the juror’s relatively quick verdict had to do with them wanting to go home. Do you feel a non-sequestered jury may have come up with a different verdict in the Anthony case?

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