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Post subject: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? See gun-friendly legal
Post Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:41 am
Hey folks,

I just wanted to drop a note to let you know I'm covering the George Zimmerman trial down in Florida for one of the internet's largest legal blogs, Legal Insurrection.

Some of you may know me as a lawyer with a practice specializing in the law of self defense, others as that guy who shoots the IDPA matches wearing a suit jacket along with his cargo pants.

In any case, if you're tired of the incredibly biased mainstream media coverage (or should I call it mis-coverage) of the Zimmerman case, consider taking a look at my coverage of the trial and analysis of the legal issues, all from the perspective of a gun guy who has CCW'd every day of his adult life.

It is, of course, all entirely free, and Legal Insurrection doesn't sell anything.

Past coverage (up through last night's daily wrap-up post) can be found here: http://bit.ly/15KXK1a

Today's live coverage will be added to that list when Court goes into session at 9AM.

Thanks for your consideration!

Andrew

Andrew F. Branca, Attorney at Law (MA)
This message does NOT constitute legal advice.
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Post subject: Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? See gun-friendly l
Post Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:54 am
Thanks Law

Seems odd, but do you notice how this topic seems to have people standing at an arm’s length?
There is very little talk about it on any of the social media but even here where I would have thought the case would dominate the message board?

In my view, this is probably one of the most important cases to affect self-defense laws and court cases along with all CCW rights, Stand Your Ground etc...
It scares me to think I would have to make a choice of Living or Living in Prison because I chose to live?

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Post subject: Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? See gun-friendly l
Post Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:10 pm
Hey folks,

I just posted up my summary of today's voir dire of prospective jurors for the Zimmerman trial, click the link below if you'd like to read it.

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/zi ... -up//#more

In brief, two events today were particularly interesting . . . or, more accurately, shocking.

First was a prospective juror, J39, who told the Court that as far as he was concerned, murder's murder, no matter what. Even if it's self defense. Self-defense doesn't make it right to kill somebody." When asked if he would be biased in this case on the issue of self-defense as murder he responded, "Yes," and that he would not be able to set his opinion aside.

Prospective juror J39 was promptly dismissed by the court.

Far more disturbing, however, was prospective juror E7, who may have attempted to perpetuate a despicable fraud upon the Court in an effort to destroy the integrity of the jury.

While being questioned by the State, E7 made all the right noises about having not yet made up his mind about the case. He said, for example, that if someones within their right to defend themselves, they shouldn't be arrested.

The entire time he was being questioned by the State, however, the defense table was scribbling like crazy. They asked to approach the bench, along with the State, and there was a hurried discussion with Judge Nelson out of everyone's hearing. After a few minutes Judge Nelson addressed E7, held up a printed Facebook page, and asked him if he had made this post on a Facebook page called "Coffee Page Progressives." He said that he had. Judge Nelson then noted for the record that the post in question had been made on March 21, 2012.

I took the liberty at looking at the Facebook postings for "Coffee Party Progressives" on that date. What I found was a hard-core Progressive site that, among other things, advocated for the violent death of George Zimmerman: "I say give the guy some skittles and an iced tea and shoot him in the head," wrote one commenter. Another commenter wrote, ". . . In Sanford . . . & I CAN tell you THIS. "Justice" . . . IS Coming! " and "The Seminole County "Justice" System needs an ENEMA . . . & they just MIGHT GET one!"

Prospective juror E7 was also promptly dismissed by the court.

To see the entire wrap-up of today's third day of voir dire, including screen caps of the "Coffee Party Progressives" posts and comments from March 21, 2012, just click here:

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/zi ... -up//#more

Best,

Andrew
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Post subject: Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? See gun-friendly l
Post Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:35 am
It turns out the best line to come out of the Zimmerman trial yesterday might have been delivered after the Court had recessed for the day.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, advisory to the Martin family, announced to the press that, ""The evidence shows there is no blood on Trayvon's hands."

I guess he hasn't seen this picture:

Image

Andrew
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Post subject: Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? See gun-friendly l
Post Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:21 am
Just FYI, Day 4 of jury selection has just kicked into gear. Our live, all-day coverage can be found at Legal Insurrection here, if you're interested in following along.

We'll also be doing our usual end-of-day summary of events. I'll drop a brief note when that's up, for folks who are interested.

Andrew
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Last edited by Law of Self Defense on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post subject: Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? See gun-friendly l
Post Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:02 pm
Andrew,

Thanks for the Updates --- very interesting & keep them comming!

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Post subject: Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? See gun-friendly l
Post Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:26 pm
Viking wrote:
Andrew,

Thanks for the Updates --- very interesting & keep them comming!


Sure thing.

Andrew
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Post subject: Zimmerman Jury Selection -- Day Four Wrap-Up
Post Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:10 pm
Hey folks,

I just posted up the wrap-up for day four of jury selection in the Zimmerman case.

There were two notable events of the day.

The first was Judge Nelson's decision to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial. This decision clearly caught some of the prospective jurors off guard, creating considerable hardship for more than a few. On the other hand, several jurors had expressed concerns about their safety if their anonymity was not preserved, one that she would feel like she had a bulls-eye on her back.

On a practical note, it's unclear to me how they truly expect to remain anonymous. From the national public, sure. But nobody can realistically disappear from family and work for a two to four weeks without explaining what's up. It would seem the fact that they were a juror would inevitably get out--but maybe not until after the burning was over.

The second notable event was the questioning of E81. She looked de la Rionda straight in the eye and said she believed that Zimmerman should just go home, and that he had acted in defense of himself. When asked if he was going to have to perform "magic" to get her to change her mind she essentially told him he'd just have to do his job--work hard to convince her otherwise. (He acknowledged that the burden of proof was, indeed, on the State.)

She knew a great deal about the case. She recalled seeing the picture from Trayvon's phone of the mairjuana, and that he had gotten into trouble a few times. She had seen video of him refereeing a street fight, for sport, and believed that he was training to be a street fighter. She thought he might have been looking for a reason to fight that evening, that Trayvon became aware that he was under observation by Martin and that Trayvon had been the aggressor in the conflict.

A firm believer in gun rights and CCW, E81 said that the more guns there were out there in the hands of law abiding people, the safer it was. SHe believed that everyone who was not a felon or mentally unsound should be allowed to carry a gun.

There's more on this wonderful young woman, but you'll have to click over to the full wrap-up report, right here at Legal Insurrection, to read the rest.

Tomorrow we do another full day of live stream, all-day coverage of day two of jury selection. Be sure to join us.

Best,

Andrew
@LawSelfDefense

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This message does NOT constitute legal advice.
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Post subject: Zimmerman Jury Selection: Day 5--Live streaming, all-day co
Post Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:18 am
Hey folks,
Just FYI, Day 5 of jury selection has just kicked into gear. Our live, all-day coverage can be found at Legal Insurrection here, if you're interested in following along.

We'll also be doing our usual end-of-day summary of events. I'll drop a brief note when that's up, for folks who are interested.

Andrew
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This message does NOT constitute legal advice.
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Post subject: ZIMMERMAN TRIAL: EVIDENTIARY FLASHBACK
Post Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:50 am
From the March 3, 2012 FBI report of interview with Sanford Police Department Investigator Chris Serino:

Quote:
Serino is concerned that many of the leaks in this case are coming from within the Sanford Police Department. He listed Sgt AUTHOR BARNS, REBECCA VILLENOVE (phonetic),and TREKELL PERKINS as all pressuring him to file charges against ZIMMERMAN after the incident. Serino did not believe he had enough evidence at the time to file charges. Serino also stated that Barns is friendly with TRACY MARTIN [Trayvon Martin's father].


Andrew
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Post subject: Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? See gun-friendly l
Post Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:55 am
Yes, keep us posted. I keep checking back here for updates and with around 100 views on this thread I'd say others are too.

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Post subject: ZIMMERMAN TRIAL: EVIDENTIARY FLASHBACK: Sanford PD Questioni
Post Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:30 am
I thought some of you might be interested in taking a look at some actual evidence--as opposed to speculation--from the Zimmerman case, so I've pulled together some "Evidentiary Flashbacks" to look at actual evidence that's been collected over the course of the investigation and discovery preparations for trial.

Below is a snippet from the transcript of the [CORRECTED DATE] February 27, 2012 (the day after the shooting) Sanford Police Department interview of George Zimmerman. In it Zimmerman describes to police investigators in his own words how and why he emerged from his vehicle, the circumstances of he he observed and then lost sight of Martin, and how Martin emerged from bushes in a darkened area of the complex and attacked Zimmerman--punching him in the hose, knocking him to the ground, and hitting his head on the concrete sidewalk.

The whole thing is way too long for a forum post, so I've put the longer version of this up on the Law of Self Defense blog, if you want to read it in greater length.

Here, however, is a particularly interesting segment:

Quote:
George Zimmerman: I saw him coming at me and I went to grab my phone. I don’t remember if I had time to pull it out or not.
Investigator Singleton: Okay, you attempted to try to recall the –
George Zimmerman: To call the police.
Investigator Singleton: –to call the police, right.
George Zimmerman: 911 this time.
Investigator Singleton: Okay.
George Zimmerman: ‘Cause the first time I called non-emergency.
Investigator Singleton: But you’re not sure if you actually got it out of your pocket or not? Oh, okay and that’s when it was, that’s when he slugged you.
George Zimmerman: He just hit me, yeah.
Investigator Singleton: And what did he say before that? You said, he asked you like something about, I said, you got a problem?
George Zimmerman: He said, “You got a problem, homey?” and I said, “I don’t have a problem.” And he said, “Now you have a problem.”
Investigator Singleton: Okay.
George Zimmerman: And that’s when he hit me.
Investigator Singleton: And that’s he struck you in the nose first.
George Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Investigator Singleton: And that’s what knocked you down?
George Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Investigator Singleton: Okay. And, this is all, this is, you’re saying this is behind the buildings, though?
George Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Investigator Singleton: How, is there, are you sure, is it a patio that he’s hitting ’cause you said he’s hitting your head on a sidewalk.
George Zimmerman: No, no, it’s the, it’s the sidewalk.
Investigator Singleton: There’s a sidewalk behind–
George Zimmerman: Yes ma’am.
Investigator Singleton: --the buildins?
George Zimmerman: It’s a dog walk.
Investigator Singleton: Okay. . . . the dog walk is, is cement.
George Zimmerman: Yes ma’am.
Investigator Singleton: Okay. Okay. Okay, so he’s hitting your head . . .
George Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am. As I went to sit up, then he grabbed me by the, the front of my head and started banging it into the–
Investigator Singleton: And that’s when you could look either to your left or right and you could see this guy? And you were saying help me?
George Zimmerman: I don’t remember. I screamed help me probably 50 times as loud as I could.

____________________________________

There's more here at the Law of Self Defense blog if you're interested.

It must be mentioned that Zimmerman's testimony could well simply be self-serving. It is, nevertheless, entirely legitimate evidence that the State must overcome, beyond a reasonable doubt, if they are to obtain a conviction.

Andrew
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Post subject: Evidentiary Flashback: Zimmerman Recounts Fight for Life, t
Post Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:09 pm
I was just reviewing the transcript of Zimmerman's questioning byInvestigator Singleton of the Sanford Police Department on February 27, 2012 (the day after the shooting,) and I was reminded of how absolutely chilling it is.

It's just words on paper, a police transcript, but you can feel the tension building line by line until the deadly climax, and then falling off. Zimmerman's responses start off as one or two words, usually just "Yes, ma'am," and then grow to a few words, longer sentences, then a couple of sentences . . .

. . . and then he describes in harrowing detail the fight for his life:

Quote:
Zimmerman: I, it was dark. I didn’t even see him getting ready to punch me. As soon as he punched me, I fell backwards, um, into the grass and he grabbed me. He was wailing on my head and I, then, I started yelling help. When I started yelling help, he grabbed my head and he started hitting my head into the– I, I tried to sit up and I, and yell for help and then he grabbed my head and started hitting it into the sidewalk. Um, when he started doing that, I slid into the grass to try and get out from under him and so that he would stop hitting my head into the sidewalk and I’m still yelling for help. And, I could see people looking and some guy yells out, I’m calling 911 and I said, “Help me, help me. He’s killing me.” And he puts his hand on my nose and mouth and he says, “You’re gonna die tonight,” and I don’t remember much after that. I just remember, I couldn’t breath and then he still kept trying to hit my head against the pavement or I don’t know if there was a sign or what it was. So, I just, uh, when I slid, my jacket and my shirt came up and when he said, “You’re gonna die tonight,” I felt his hand go down on my side and I thought he was going for my firearm. So I grabbed it immediately and as he banged my head again, I just pulled out my firearm and shot him.


A few lines later he recalled:

Quote:
Zimmerman: I didn't know what he was hitting [me with]. It felt like he was hitting me with bricks.


The content before and after this snippet is great stuff, too, but much too long to post here. If you want to see more, it's freely available at the Law of Self Defense blog.

Zimmerman’s own testimony can, of course, be seen as self-serving. Nevertheless, this is entirely legitimate evidence that the State must overcome if it is to prove Zimmerman guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, of a crime in this case.

Andrew
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Post subject: The Rise, and Fall, of Witness #8
Post Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:46 pm
I realize most of my posts today have been rather dire in tone, so let's lighten things up a bit.

Always good for a laugh is the letter orchestrated by Crump & company and written (if not authored) by Witness #8 (since identified as "Dee Dee"). Note that although she was presented as Trayvon's girlfriend, she somehow neglected to learn how to spell his name properly.

Quote:
March 19, 2012

I was on the phone when Trevon [sic] decided to go to the Cornerstore. It started to rain so he decided to walk through another complex because it was raining too hard. He started walking then noticed someone was following him. Then he decided to find a shortcut cause the man wouldn't follow him. Then he said the man didn't follow him again. Then he looked back and saw the man again. The man started getting closer. Then Trevon [sic] turned around and said, "Why are you following me!! Then I heard him fall, then the phone hung up. I called back, and that no response. In my mind I though it was just a fight. Then I found out this tragic story.

Thank you,
[Redacted]


Finally! The State had its own "ear"-witness who could contest Zimmerman's recounting of events. It was the State's strongest--almost their only--piece of evidence pointing towards Zimmerman's guilt.

Or did they?

In March 2013 the State would be compelled to admit in open court that Witness #8 hd perjured herself in her sworn statement to the prosecutors. Claims that she was a minor and that she was "Trevon's" girlfriend were also proven to be untrue.

The State might still put Dee-Dee on the stand. If they do the cross-examination should be a popcorn-worthy event.

Andrew
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Post subject: Zimmerman Jury Selection -- Day Five Wrap-Up
Post Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:07 pm
Hey folks,

I just posted up the end-of-day wrap-up for day five of jury selection in the Zimmerman case, available at Legal Insurrection here.

There were four notable events of the day, apart from the jury questioning.

Perhaps today’s most interesting news happened outside the court room. Juror E7, since identified by media sources as Jerry P. Counelis, who was dismissed from the jury pool on Wednesday for apparently misleading the court, was back at the court house today. We’ve done a separate write up just on Mr. Counelis, so if you’re interested in more just click the link in the header above. I did a separate post just on this interesting development, which can be seen on Legal Insurrection here.

Another unexpected bit of news today was the release by Robert Zimmerman, George’s father, of an e-book entitled as in the header above, covering the travails of his son through the current crises. I’ve downloaded a copy to my Kindle, and will comment as soon as I’ve had some time to “flip” through it. If you're interested, a copy can be obtained at Amazon here, for $3.99.

The Judge also raised the issue of scheduling the as yet not completed Frye hearing from last week, to determine whether the State's speech "expert" witnesses would be permitted to testify at trial. Nothing was determined within hearing of the cameras, but the court room was left with the impression that the Frye hearing would be wrapped up next week.

Finally, she released a group of 23 prospective jurors who had “survived” to the next round of voir dire. They were told to return to court next Tuesday, and admonished to not discuss or research the case in the meantime, nor access any news about the case. Of the 23, 19 were women, 4 were men, and three of the group were black. Talk around the court house is that both sides want to bring 40 prospective jurors into the next round of voir dire, in anticipation of heavy attrition.

The remainder of the day the court moved through preliminary voir dire of another seven prospective jurors. For all the juicy details, check out the full end-of-day wrap up post at Legal Insurrection.

Monday we do another full day of live stream, all-day coverage of day two of jury selection. Be sure to join us.

Best,

Andrew
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