Wednesday, January 2, 2013
I was inspired by Xena to write this article today to warn the prosecution and all of my readers to take the defense seriously in the Travon Martin murder case
“In GZ’s case, O’Mara would need 6 jurors and the required number of alternates, ALL who believe in GZ’s innocence before they are sworn in as jurors. Nullification in GZ’s case would require all six jurors to find him innocent. That— ain’t — gonna— happen.”
I hope you are right, Xena, but I am not certain that you are.
I prefer to evaluate the case in terms of potential strategies and probable outcomes. I am compulsive by nature and always evaluated my cases in this fashion. There is no downside to being prepared.
I think the defense is focused on the only argument that it believes has any probability of success and that is jury nullification.
Every effort and every public statement appears to be focused on poisoning the pool of prospective jurors in Seminole County by appealing to racism demonizing Trayvon Martin as a crazed Black Gangsta who deserved to die and portraying the prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as outsiders who overruled the local authorities and bypassed a local grand jury to prosecute the defendant for political purposes to appease Black “racist rage.” That is, the defense is attempting to maximize the probability of success through the use of sleazy character assassination and grotesque propaganda in a highly focused way that I have only seen in used in elections.
Keep in mind that the defense does not necessarily need to have convinced all six jurors to vote “not guilty” before the trial starts. They just need to convince one or two strong personalities who will serve as their voices during deliberations refusing to vote guilty and pushing the same buttons that O’Mara, West and Robert Jr., are pushing until they finally achieve consensus.
Whether this strategy will succeed in the face of an extremely unlikable defendant and a veritable mountain of evidence of his guilt is unknown and difficult for me to estimate at this time.
I can only do what is within my power to do and that is to illuminate and publicize what I see hoping that my efforts to warn will inspire others to act in ways that will reduce the probability that the defense strategy will succeed.
I believe this case will be won or lost in jury selection.
I firmly believe that an unbiased and unprejudiced jury of reasonable people will reject this defendant’s claim off self-defense and convict him of murder in the second degree. I do not believe there is a reasonable probability that such a jury will acquit this defendant.
However, I believe there is a statistically significant probability that a biased and prejudiced jury will acquit this defendant despite overwhelming evidence of guilt.
If for no other reason than to avoid overconfidence, the prosecution needs to focus on jury selection now to develop a strategy to identify and excuse potential pro-defendant stealth jurors willing to lie in order to get on the jury and wreak havoc.
The prosecution should consider retaining one or more jury consultants familiar with the demographics of Seminole County and polling residents regarding their knowledge and opinions of the case. Careful consideration should be given to developing a comprehensive juror questionnaire that exposes not only bias or prejudice but efforts to conceal bias or prejudice. The prosecution should request additional peremptory challenges since they may be the only means it has to strike dishonest stealth jurors. The use of individual attorney-conducted voir dire is critically important as is cultivating the art of asking open-ended questions, carefully listening to the answers and following-up with insightful and respectful questions to discover and reveal possible biases or prejudices.
I recommend against sequestering the jury because sequestration is equivalent to being imprisoned and that will cause juror hostility to the court to no good end.
This team of prosecutors is on unfamiliar ground and should not assume that they will be regarded with the usual degree of respect to which they have become accustomed on their home turf. They must do everything possible to avoid being seen as an outsider seeking to convict and imprison a decent local citizen to serve the governor’s political agenda.
The defendant’s supporters do not fight fair. They have no respect for the truth and will use any tactic to discredit and intimidate. I know what I am talking about because they have been impersonating me, including using my photograph as an avatar at the Huffington Post and other sites, spreading false and malicious information to discredit me and my efforts to seek justice for Trayvon.
What they have done and continue to do to me pales into insignificance when compared to what they have done to demonize Trayvon and intimidate Dee Dee, Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, the Martin family, Benjamin Crump, Natalie Jackson and others who support justice for Trayvon.
The prosecution is not only on unfamiliar ground in Seminole County, it’s on unfamiliar ground in a propaganda war.
The sooner it acknowledges the potential danger and develops a comprehensive strategy to deal with it the more likely it will obtain a just result and convict this defendant.