2012 in review

December 31, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 410,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 7 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.


Open Thread for Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012

I have a new post up:

Nitty Gritty: Three Questions for Jury to Answer in Trayvon Martin Murder Case

Please use this open thread, if you wish to discuss other matters.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fred


Nitty Gritty: Three Questions for Jury to Answer in Trayvon Martin Murder Case

December 31, 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Thankfully, 2012 will soon pass into the rearview mirror.

As we look forward to next year, I think today is a good day to review the three predominant questions that the jury will have to decide when the defendant charged with murdering Trayvon Martin goes to trial. I posted this comment last night.

Actually, O’Mara has conceded that SYG and the castle doctrine do not apply and the evidence will show that, as a matter of law, the defendant was the aggressor.

As the aggressor, the defendant can use deadly force in self-defense only if,

(a) Trayvon responded to his aggression by using more force than was reasonably necessary to defend himself;

(b) He reasonably perceived that Trayvon’s use of such force created an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury; and

(c) He attempted to end the confrontation and withdraw before he used deadly force.

O’Mara announced at a press conference that he will argue that the defendant could not withdraw before using deadly force because the defendant was lying on his back unable to withdraw with Trayvon straddling him raining down blows MMA style and slamming his head into the concrete sidewalk.

Those are the basic three questions that the jury will have to decide.

The Court will instruct the jury to presume the answer to all 3 questions is “Yes,” and the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the answer is “No.”

Keep in mind that, as a practical matter, the defendant will have to testify and that means he will be cross examined, thoroughly.

Malisha was the only person to attempt an answer and this is what she said:

Professor, thanks for the clarity.

The three questions. I love them. I always love “three questions.”

(a) Did Trayvon respond to Fogen’s aggression by using more force than was reasonably necessary to defend himself?

I think the answer “NO” is easy to prove because in fact Fogen killed Trayvon. Thus, Fogen’s aggression against Trayvon was, by definition, potentially lethal from the get-go. Thus, also by definition, deadly force was authorized.

(b) Did Fogen reasonably perceive that Trayvon’s use of such force created an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury to himself, to Fogen?

I think the answer “NO” is also easy to prove because injuries that Fogen sustained were nowhere near life-threatening. If he was beaten at all, he was beaten in such a way as to do no serious damage. A fender bender would have hurt him more than the encounter with Trayvon Martin hurt him, even if both scratches on his head AND a minor injury to his nose were all attributable to contact with Trayvon Martin.

(c) Did Fogen attempt to end the confrontation and withdraw before he used deadly force?

Fogen has not even claimed that he did so. Even as he narrated his non-credible self-defense story, he claims that he told the neighbor to help him “restrain” Trayvon Martin, but he never told Trayvon Martin that he wanted to stop fighting. Nor did he tell Trayvon Martin, at any point (according to his own narrative) that he had a gun and would shoot unless Trayvon Martin stopped hurting him. Remember, even as he narrated that he “spread out [Trayvon’s] hands,” he still claimed that Trayvon was continuing to struggle and curse. And at no time before or after firing his one shot did Fogen say, “I’m leaving now; I’m going back to my schtruck now; I’ll leave you alone now,” or even, “The police are coming so stop fighting now and we’ll wait for them.”

Now it is your turn. What are your thoughts?

How do you think the defendant will do on cross examination?

I also will start an open thread for those who wish to discuss other matters.

Many thanks and many blessings to all of you for participating and making this blog a great and safe place to discuss the case.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

Fred


Open Thread for Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 30, 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Good morning:

I just posted Is George Zimmerman a Symptom or the Cause of World Attention on Sanford Florida featuring Whonoze and Seallison’s comments on corruption in the Sanford Police Department.

Use this open thread for comments and discussions regarding other topics.


Is George Zimmerman a Symptom or the Cause of World Attention on Sanford Florida

December 30, 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Good morning:

I write today to feature Whonoze and Seallison and to remind everyone that the defendant, who is charged with second degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin, may be the symptom rather than the cause of the difficulties attracting world attention in Sanford, Florida.

Whonoze remind us in his comment at 7:22 am this morning:

” The flipside of turning Trayvon into an angelic caricature is turning GZ into a demonic caricature. He pulled a gun on an unarmed teenager who had not hurt him in the midst of a grab-fight. That’s horrible enough. Then he shot him through the heart. Much worse. Then he acted as if he was the hero, lying up a storm and showing no signs of remorse (God’s plan, you know.) Just totally fucking disgusting.

But that’s not bad enough for the people here who need him to personify TOTAL evil incarnate. He has to have planned the whole thing. There must have been a conspiracy to murder Trayvon. He cocked his gun, no knocked on his co-conspirators screen door!. He had a script in the truck with him, and he was whispering to Shellie or Osterman or the ghosts of James Earl Ray and Byron De La Beckwith! You give him too MUCH credit, as if he had superpowers. If he lurks here, I’ll bet he gets off on how bad you all think he is.

But he’s just a small man. A fuck-up in denial of his own failures, A control freak who has never really felt in control of anything. He is, in the last analysis, nothing but small potatoes. But in the US any loser can get ahold of a semi-automatic weapon and turn themselves into a headline. GZ is the symptom, not the problem.

The real story here remains not the little man who killed an unarmed teenager out of his own weakness, but the racist law enforcement regime that chose first to look the other way, and then to cover up their own misconduct with bogus reports and evidence tampering. Until I see actual evidence to the contrary, I shall continue to believe that Angela Corey is covering for this regime and it’s crimes, that the State’s game is to sacrifice the pawn named George Zimmerman to protect rook SYG, Queen SPD and King Rick Scott.

I think people here are getting played by focusing so exclusively on Zimmerman. He’s become the projection of the Mighty Oz, so the men actually pulling the levers get ignored. I think it’s cognitive dissonance. You realize GZ may actually get punished for his crimes, but you don’t really beiieve the political structure that supports racist police departments can be challenged. So you focus on GZ because you have a chance of winning, which will allow you to feel better about the world and your place in it if/when he goes down. But, you’re like the druck looking for his keys under a streetlight because the light is better there, even though he lost them in the shadows up the alley.

Because putting GZ behgind bars for the rest of his life isn’t going to change anything. Trayvon Martin will still be dead and the institutional structures that created the climate in which he could be killed and have his killing ignored will be rolling right along, thank you very much. Oh some of the names will change and the cards will get shuffled a bit. But the machine will grind on and the same shit will keep happening, just as it has already continnued to to keep happening in the few months since Trayvon’s murder.”

Seallison provided an interesting link to this article regarding the selection of Bill Lee, a “good ol’ boy,” to be the Chief of Police for the City of Sanford:

http://thegrio.com/2012/04/02/trayvon-martin-bill-lee-lacked-experience/

As I said to Whonoze,

I am very concerned about this too. I do not have any faith or confidence in the commitment of the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI to root out corruption and prosecute the offenders in local and state police departments for violating civil rights.

I am hoping they will carry out their responsibilities and do their jobs in this case, but I am not holding my breath.

What do you all think?


Open Thread for Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 29, 2012

I have decided to start an open thread every day for awhile, in addition to any new posts, to see how things go.

We now have so many participants that the threads are getting very long and take forever to load.

Let’s see if this helps.

Fred


Impersonation Truth and the Importance of Civility

December 29, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Someone has been impersonating me at the Huffington Post using the name Professor Leatherman. The impostor is a Zimmerman supporter attempting to discredit me and the work I do seeking justice for Trayvon. I have notified legal counsel for the blog and asked them to ban the individual and delete his/her posts.

They may or may not do so.

I do not post on other blogs and I do not plan to do anything more about this incident because everyone here recognizes my writing style and knows where I stand on the issues. I am not freaked out by this attack and I do not believe any of you should be either. The people who oppose what we do here do not have the truth on their side. They lie and they cheat and there is no reason I can think of that will cause them to change their tactics.

I choose to ignore them and I urge all of you to do the same.

I watched a movie last night and retired early.

When I read the comments this morning, I was surprised by all of the sniping and complaining that went on last night.

We are family and occasional disagreements will happen. We need to respect the co-equal rights of others to complain when they believe we have trespassed against them. The complaints, however, must be civil and respectful.

We are all on the same side here. Taking the high road while we seek justice for Trayvon Martin and his family is far more important than our disagreements with each other.

Remember the principle of Namaste: That which is divine within me acknowledges that which is divine within you.

Resolve to communicate with each other at that level and there will be no misunderstanding whether you are the person you claim to be.

Ignore the treehouse. Nothing they say is worth listening or responding to. They never speak the truth and are incapable of communicating at our level.

Namaste


Trayvon Martin’s Murder Forces Us To Confront Racism

December 27, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I realized the defendant was lying when I first read his narrative about the shooting.

Why?

Because I believe it’s extremely unlikely that an unarmed person would flee from a menacing stranger following him and, after successfully getting away, voluntarily approach, engage and attempt to beat that stranger to death with his bare hands.

That story is ridiculous. It made no sense to me when I first read it and it makes no sense to me now.

With two exceptions, I never have understood why anyone would believe that ridiculous story.

As a former criminal defense attorney and law professor, I certainly understand, support and believe in the presumption of innocence. I trained myself to think that way and always searched for the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against my clients. I had no problem exploiting those vulnerabilities for the benefit of my clients. I suspect that most of the lawyers and law professors who have publicly supported the defendant did so from the perspective of presuming that he spoke the truth.

Since I no longer practice or teach law, I believe I can evaluate this case from a more objective perspective.

I cannot and will not presume that an obvious bullshit story is the truth.

I have reviewed all of the evidence released to the public to date and I have not found any evidence that supports the defendant’s story. Instead, his multiple inconsistent and contradictory statements conflict with the physical and forensic evidence. In fact, he has admitted that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin after he had him under control with a wrist lock. He said he pulled out his gun, extended his right arm, aimed to avoid shooting his left hand, and fired the single shot that killed Trayvon Martin. The terrified, prolonged and desperate shriek protesting the depraved execution that was about to occur finally and forever was silenced by the gunshot.

No one is going to believe that the defendant uttered that inhuman shriek with a loaded gun in his hand.

I feel obliged to remind my former colleagues that the presumption of innocence does not require them to blindly accept a liar’s story and actively defend that liar by supporting his effort to demonize an innocent victim and his parents. I am offended, horrified and disgusted by the unrelenting attacks on Trayvon, his family and their supporters. I have no respect for anyone who participates in or supports those attacks, including members of the mainstream media who publicize them, and by so doing, legitimize them.

Enough is enough.

We do not need or want to hear any more lying racist Zimmermans polluting the news.

The Trayvon Martin murder case is much more than a set of hypothetical facts to be discussed in a classroom. It is a real case involving real people and I think our responses to this tragedy reveal much about ourselves as individuals and as a society.

For example, in order to believe the defendant’s story, one would have to believe that Trayvon Martin acted like a stereotypical Black Gangsta thug in a Hollywood action movie. Would any Caucasian person believe the defendant’s story, if the person he killed were Caucasian?

Is it not easier for Caucasians to believe his story because the victim is Black?

I believe we would not have heard about this case, if Trayvon Martin had been a Caucasian kid. The defendant would have been arrested and jailed that first night. He would have been charged with second degree murder and prosecuted without any of the publicity and controversy that we have seen.

The most important lesson of this case is that racism is alive and well in our nation. The defendant’s characterization of Trayvon Martin presents each one of us with a litmus test. Those who accept and believe what he said are failing the litmus test and seriously need to ask themselves why they were so willing to believe such an obvious lie.

Those who continue to believe the defendant in the face of overwhelming evidence that he is a liar may be beyond help.

We live in a racist society and nothing will change unless we admit that we do and we commit to ending racism. As always, the self is the place to start changing society.

Trayvon Martin will not have died in vain if his death becomes the rallying point for a systematic, determined and prolonged effort to once and for all eliminate racism in our society.

Unless we succeed, we will remain a racist and failed society.


Open Thread

December 26, 2012

I posted this open thread so that y’all can continue your conversation on the long thread here.

Fred


No Credible Threat to the Defendant’s Life or Safety Exists in Trayvon Martin murder case

December 26, 2012

Good morning and happy holidays to all of you.

I love blogging but it has developed into an obligation that leaves little time for me to do or think about anything else. My inattention to other responsibilities in my life reached a crisis about a week ago that forced me to suspend operations here. I am pleased to report that I can now return to blogging and I apologize for any inconvenience that my absence may have caused.

I believe interacting with all of you is the most important thing I do. That requires constant monitoring and response to your comments in addition to all of the time and effort that I expend producing new articles. This blog has developed from a hobby into a new career and I am grateful to all of you for participating in and supporting it. You have enriched my life and I hope that I have enriched yours in return.

Right now I am struggling with the time commitment and I sometimes refer to myself in conversations with others as a “prisoner of the blog.” I am obviously going to have to improve my time management skills because taking time off to put out fires is not a responsible or effective solution. Please bear with me as I adjust to the increasing demand for my time and attention.

Meanwhile, back in the jungle, I noticed a little story about a lawsuit filed in the Orange County Circuit Court last Friday against he-whose-name-shall-be-forgotten. The plaintiff is Associated Investigative Services, the company that has provided bodyguards for the defendant in the Trayvon Martin murder case. The company claims that he owes $27,000 for services provided. Presumably, those services were suspended some time ago for nonpayment. Termination of services is an extreme creditor’s remedy that typically is reserved for situations where no payments have been received for multiple billing periods and no agreement has been reached regarding when, if ever, payment will be made.

Mark O’Mara expressed “surprise” about the lawsuit. He said the company has been paid $40,000. Of course, that does not mean that the company is not owed an additional $27,000. Reading between the lines, I interpret his response as a tacit admission that his client owes money to the company.

According to the article that I read, the company was hired to provide security for the Zimmerman family in June and stopped receiving payments “after an independent trustee took over Zimmerman’s defense fund.”

In addition to the defendant, Mark O’Mara and Shellie Zimmerman are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

This lawsuit confirms my suspicion that contributions to the defense fund have stopped or slowed to a trickle and it also supports my argument that no credible threat to the defendant’s life or safety exists or ever has existed and the security firm was hired for the sake of appearances only in order to fool the court and the public into believing there was a credible threat.

I continue to be amazed that anyone believes this defendant and his lawyer.

Propaganda is not a defense to murder and sooner or later the defense is going to have to stop the bullshit and deal with the evidence.


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