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April 11, 2012

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I sure do hope George is somewhere in talks with a better higher profile legal team. After seeing Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum's news conference yesterday, anything would be better than those two.

I nearly avoided a bunch of angry NAMs marching in the street for Martin the other day. I decided to lower my offer on property in the city by 10%.

The demagogue skipped the grand jury process for a reason...

Depending on the charge and whether or not there is a trial, couldn't Zimmerman be looking at legal bills at $25K on up to ???

Cripe, I've heard of basic DUI defenses that run $5K to $10K.

BRA!

Corey is going all out. She is going to charge Murder in the 2nd degree. I guess at this point she can look to the cameras and act like she is doing all she can to bring "justice."

Yep, this IS Bonfire of the Vanities.

He's fucked.

2nd degree murder? That doesn't even make sense.

We should all donate whatever we can to his defense fund. This is a watershed case -- that's ridiculous, but there it is. This matters. If Zimmerman is convicted of 2nd degree murder for defending himself against a black assailant, then there's little left to do but ask the last person to leave to turn out the lights.

I am more than a little creeped out by how many times she has said "ministers of justice" during this conference.

And also, with all the repetition of how they will not discuss the facts of the case, I expect there will be copious leaks out of the prosecution.

Honestly using Justice for trayvon in her speech is pure political pandering and it's pathetic. Bypassing the grand jury sure does look suspicious.

"Second-degree murder is ordinarily defined as 1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable "heat of passion" or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life."

I really thought that the charge would be at most manslaughter or hate crime. I can't believe the prosecution believes the altercation wasn't within the "heat of passion" and seem to believe the multiple witnesses testimony will be overridden in beyond getting a conviction over a reasonable doubt. Experts already believe he'll be granted bail, since obviously he isn't a flight risk.

Perhaps she is overcharging, so that Zimmerman will plea bargain to manslaughter. He seems to be going through a mental breakdown by turning himself in and neglecting his defense lawyers. The prosecution probably sees this as a weakness and decided to charge him.

There will still be riots unless he is convicted. The people rioting are irrational and don't care about facts.

@Rekshun

The open-and-shut 'domestic violence' case I suffered (turns out the guy with cigarette burns on his head who ran away wasn't the abuser) ran me $10 000; that's up here in Soviet Canuckistan where we don't have the American culture of litigation.

The charge itself is the punishment. Libs seem to have mistaken the criminal courts for an inquisition into truth.

I hope to hell he doesn't suicide. I expect all the evidence to result in a finding of Not Guilty, and I'm looking forward to the rioting that ensues.

My heart goes out to Zimmerman. This is his punishment for trying to protect his neighbours.

Lol, it was a pretty softball prediction.

The Murder 2 "depraved state of mind" thing is very significant, because the trial will likely have a lot to do with Zimmerman and his mental state and not so much with the events of the case.

Defense ought to hire a dedicated jury consultant like in the book/movie runaway jury.

I wonder if a Florida jury can return a conviction on a lesser charge.

Based on what we know, 2nd degree is going to be a real reach for a jury.

"Zimmerman is charged with “second degree murder” which is the Florida equivalent of manslaughter."

Florida lawyer here. The Florida equivalent of manslaughter is manslaughter, as provided in Section 782.07, Florida Statutes. Murder, including the second-degree charge here, is under Section 782.04. Manslaughter is not a "lesser type of murder" - it is a lesser form of homicide than murder.

This was not a hard thing to predict. They were never going to charge with first-degree. I was thinking he was going to get aggravated manslaughter of a child, which is still a first degree felony but has a maximum sentence of 30 years instead of the life term that second-degree murder can carry.

They want to hang a heavy enough charge on Zimmerman that he's amenable to a plea bargain. Its a win/win.

Second degree murder is not the Florida equivalent of manslaughter.

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0782/Sections/0782.04.html

(2) The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree and constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) When a person is killed in the perpetration of, or in the attempt to perpetrate, any:
(a) Trafficking offense prohibited by s. 893.135(1),
(b) Arson,
(c) Sexual battery,
(d) Robbery,
(e) Burglary,
(f) Kidnapping,
(g) Escape,
(h) Aggravated child abuse,
(i) Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult,
(j) Aircraft piracy,
(k) Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb,
(l) Carjacking,
(m) Home-invasion robbery,
(n) Aggravated stalking,
(o) Murder of another human being,
(p) Resisting an officer with violence to his or her person, or
(q) Felony that is an act of terrorism or is in furtherance of an act of terrorism,
by a person other than the person engaged in the perpetration of or in the attempt to perpetrate such felony, the person perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate such felony is guilty of murder in the second degree, which constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.


And I think it is a real stretch of Florida Code. Put Angela Corey's name on a rope please.

Angela Corey stated in today's news conference that the first thing she did before starting the investigation was visit Trayvon Martin's parents to join them in prayer. In other words, she had already presumed that Trayvon Martin was an innocent victim and not the perp.

Okay, so GZ's new lawyer is Mark O'Mara. Obviously not from HSigma's beloved "top blah-blah" law school. Any comments?

"(g) Escape,"

Ah, yes.

One of these things is not like the others,...

Why the hell is "(g) Escape" on the list?

How is trying to escape a crime?

Anyway, where I live, if you kill someone while you are committing a felony, it is a capital crime, not second degree.

Florida is weird.

Tanizaki,


Do you thing, short of a SURPRISE! new witness to the crime, there is a chance in hell of convicting 2nd degree murder? I assumed the charge would be manslaughter. Is this plea bait?

"We should all donate whatever we can to his defense fund. This is a watershed case -- that's ridiculous, but there it is. This matters. If Zimmerman is convicted of 2nd degree murder for defending himself against a black assailant, then there's little left to do but ask the last person to leave to turn out the lights."

This This This 100 times this.

"My original take on the selection of Angela Corey as special prosecutor is that it was really bad news for Zimmerman, that she would go all-out to get him convicted. “Angela Corey is going to want to become the hero who convicts the most evil man to ever walk the face of the earth since Hitler,” I wrote on March 23rd."

You were right.

For once.

"That guy turned out to be wrong about everything. What a moron."

Doesn't matter a bit MacRanger was a loon. He got his name in the papers, and that's all that matters in the cosmic pursuit of social status.

"Zimmerman needs to find a quality criminal lawyer fast, and not some DUI attorney from a 5th tttier law school."

If you were being paid to defend Zimmerman, Sigma, and based on what facts you know, how would you attack the prosecution's case in court?

"Put Angela Corey's name on a rope please."

She needs to be "Nifonged"

riots in america!

after george gets free, we are going to be seeing stuff like this across the country:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2126736/Shocking-video-tourist-getting-beaten-crowd-bystanders-laughs-Baltimore-St-Patricks-Day-parade.html

as roissy would say, goodbye america.

Scott said
"Honestly using Justice for trayvon in her speech is pure political pandering and it's pathetic. Bypassing the grand jury sure does look suspicious."

I figured that's why she decided to bypass the grand jury. She didn't want to take a chance that they wouldn't indict. Then where would they be? They had to be sure it looked to the mob like they were doing everything they could to get Zimmerman.

Good Lord. Corey 'said she met with Martin's "sweet parents" and prayed with them.' Good to know she was so dispassionate about her life-changing decision.

I sure hope this Mark O'Mara fellow is one heck of a lawyer.

"There will still be riots unless he is convicted. The people rioting are irrational and don't care about facts."

The animals are going to riot regardless. They riot when they're angry. They riot when they're happy. They riot over Air Jordan shoes...On another note, ammo has been flying off the shelf here in the PRNJ.

Sigma, another law question, do you think Hate Crimes Legislation would be vulnerable to a challenge at the Supreme Court based on an argument Hate Crimes Legislation violate the Equal Protection Clause?

I don't begrudge the black community their strong feelings on inequalities in the US justice system...and for all I know we may find out that George Zimmerman snapped and shot Trayvon Martin in a fit of rage or something. I want to keep an open mind (mostly for my own sanity). What troubles me is how the media uses this sort of thing to manipulate us and I get bat-shit crazy if I think people are trying to control me. How over the top is it that NBC altered the 911 tapes? How inappropriate was it for the President of the United States to, in effect, take sides by the statement he made aligning himself with Trayvon Martin? I seriously hope the Supreme Court throws out Obamacare, if for no other reason than to slow it down. I know this is a rambling post and maybe I'm operating from a place of fear, but from where I'm standing things look to be a bit too chaotic for comfort. News gets reported so quickly that we end up hearing the loudest message whether it's the truth or not.

The Bible says every age has it's blessing, so I know there is good to be found, but I'm starting to wonder if there are enough honest people left to hold our institutions (both public and private) in check?

There may be a good chance of conviction because he was engaged in 'aggravated stalking'. We dont know the evidence yet.

It looks like 'aggravated stalking' is something else, but it is plausible that he is guilty of Murder 2. There may also be a kind of highball trick where they go charge a more severe crime knowing that its unlikely that they will actually get the full conviction.

"evincing a depraved mind"

So this means that this Angela Corey is going right with the flow of vilest narrative. This is saying to the world that Zimmerman really did hunt down Martin in a depraved way. This means in court prosecutors will be declaring Zimmerman pursued Martin with the intent to do him harm, that it was Martin screaming for help, that Zimmerman is lying about Martin saying he would kill him, that Martin did not attack him first, that Zimmerman's injuries were minor or not real, and so on. What a way to treat a citizen.

Now manslaughter at least would have been within the realm of reason. You can argue that Zimmerman should have taken the beating and not shot Martin. But beyond that, it seems like caving into the mob.

And overcharging to force a plea is BS too. By the state declaring him a murderer, Zimmerman's reputation is now officially destroyed. So his only recourse to clear his name is go through a full trial.

"Cripe, I've heard of basic DUI defenses that run $5K to $10K."

Why couldn't you just get a public defender on a first time dui. Don't you just plead guilty and get probation?

For all the lawyers here, what other minor charges could Corey have laid alongside 2nd degree murder?

If the intent is to send Zimmerman away, what is there to lose by throwing the book along with the kitchen sink and all of the utensil drawer at him and charge him with every possible crime, thereby increasing the odds that the jury will find him guilty of something?

This looks to me like a set-up to exonerate him based on the inability of Corey to meet the standards required for conviction on the charge of 2nd degree murder.

This almost calls for a game theory analysis. The constraints are that:

1.) Something has to be done to avoid immediate riots.
2.) A manslaughter charge would have satisfied the braying mob and would have presented a lower threshold for conviction, but this option was taken off the table.

Two immediately visible strategies present themselves. The first, as already noted, is to overcharge and then plead down, thereby removing the risk associated with taking a manslaughter charge to trial. If Zimmerman pleads down to manslaughter, then that's a slam dunk.

The other strategy is more long game. What if Corey believes that Zimmerman shouldn't be charged? What are her options? A.) Don't charge him and likely set off riots. B.) Send to grand jury and be seen as passing the buck and if they don't indict, there are still riots. C.) Something has to be thrown to the braying mob while minimizing the harm to Zimmerman and, more importantly, to Corey's reputation. D.) Overcharge him and only submit one charge, meaning that if he beats the charge, then the criminal trial ordeal is over for him. E.) Delaying the outcome of the trial allows for tempers to cool, allows the public to get all of the information and thus mitigate the severity of the riots months hence. F.) The damage to Corey's reputation of losing the case is minimized because people might come to the conclusion that it was all a whipped up media fabrication and is best forgotten going forward.

Twain, If you have any assets at all they won't give you a public defender. I was unemployed but since I owned my car I couldn't get a public defender for my BS trespassing charge. And since a real criminal defense lawyer cost more than the fine, I defended myself. I didn't do it well and it wasn't worth the appeal to hire a real lawyer because that was more than the fine.

@ tangoman

corey doesn't strike me as the type to hold beliefs longer than they become inconvenient

From what I've read, prosecutors usually go for a lesser charge because its easier to convict. Unless she's got an ace up her sleeve, murder 2 is going to be tough to sell to a jury. She's either going for a home-run or knows she doesn't have a case.

@unbearably sane

"Good Lord. Corey 'said she met with Martin's "sweet parents" and prayed with them.' "

yeah i saw that.

first, trayvon looks like obama's son.

now, his parents are sweet.

i guess this is what happens when we put black people in power.

I just caught the pic of Zimmerman's mugshot. I feel bad for him. Due to the sensitivity of the case, I would assume he's being housed seperate from the rest of the jail population.

Also, as I am sick of all this media coverage of Trayvon Martin, I hope his attorney can request some sort of gag order that would keep the likes of Trayvon's parents, Mr. Crump and Al Sharpton from constantly bringing up the case. I say because now that it looks like there's going to be a trial, I would think all of this coverage would (further) taint a potential jury.

"He's fucked."


In the court of public opinion, I would agree. Here lies the problem. George Zimmerman has been triedad convicted already in the court of public opinion, thanks to Ben Crump. George's lawyer should try to get a gag order on this case and see how quick it begins to fall apart.

I just called the toll-free number to inquire about a Zimmerman defense fund. They are setting one up this afternoon, and it should be ready for donations by tomorrow morning. I'll call back tomorrow and start spreading the word.

In the meantime, I'm creating a list of what we can do to protect ourselves and our families from becoming the next Zimmerman (or the next corpse).

destructure says:
"From what I've read, prosecutors usually go for a lesser charge because its easier to convict. Unless she's got an ace up her sleeve, murder 2 is going to be tough to sell to a jury. She's either going for a home-run or knows she doesn't have a case."

I doubt there is any ace up her sleeve. I've been fooled too many times in the past by prosecutors with that line, from the the Michael Jackson to the Casey Anthony case. The prosecutors all claimed they had more evidence than was publicly known that would make the case a slam dunk.

I think she was just going for the biggest charge that would not be dismissed by a judge out of hand. If she was serious about a conviction, she would have gone with manslaughter. That's a possibility. But she is strictly playing to the mob, and if Zimmerman is acquitted she can say she did all she could to bring justice to sweet sweet Trayvon, resting with the angels now you know...

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