Robin Roberts and ABC News!

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2013

Incompetent, morally feckless: ABC News must be the purest distillation of overpaid moral fecklessness.

Also of incompetence! Consider the high-profile segment it broadcast on Thursday evening’s Nightline.

The segment featured excerpts of Robin Roberts’ interview with Juror B29, one of the jurors in the George Zimmerman trial. Because various jurors have gone into hiding, this juror only revealed her first name: Maddy.

How incompetent is ABC News? The Nightline segment ran just 1700 words. Midway through, this exchange occurred:
ROBERTS (7/25/13): What was your first vote?

JUROR B29: My first vote was second degree murder.

ROBERTS: How did you go from, in nine hours, from feeling he was guilty of second degree murder to not guilty?

JUROR B29: In between the nine hours it was hard. A lot of us had wanted to find something bad, something that we could connect to the law, because for myself, he's guilty, because the evidence shows he's guilty.
Ignore the horror as a juror says that she and some other jurors “wanted to find something bad, something that we could connect to the law.” Instead, ask yourself how ABC got to this statement, which occurred less than two minutes later:
ROBERTS: During the trial, the FBI's audio expert did testify that it is impossible to tell who was screaming for help. During their 16 hours of deliberations,the consideration of a possible manslaughter verdict weighed heavily on Maddy.
Maybe there's some explanation for that apparent contradiction, but it doesn't appear in the transcript. Among her many skills, Robert goes from 9 hours of deliberation to 16 in just under two minutes.

Needless to say, Roberts also stated, in between those dueling accounts, that the police dispatcher “suggested [Zimmerman] stay in his car.” As of May 2012, every major American news org had figured out, and reported, that this wasn't true—that Zimmerman was already out of his car by the time of the exchange in question.

Zimmerman wasn't told to stay in his car that night. But the inaccurate fact makes the story work better. Roberts, who’s paid $6 million per year, stated the famous fake fact.

Earlier this afternoon, we wasted a bunch of time trying to find a full tape or transcript of this juror’s interview with Roberts. No such luck! It is now more than 48 hours since inflammatory sound-bites began to circulate from this session, but ABC News still hasn’t posted an unedited tape or transcript.

Transcripts from Friday morning’s Good Morning America haven’t been posted at all. Yesterday, Slate’s William Saletan offered a very sound warning:
SALETAN (7/26/13): ABC News hasn’t posted a full unedited video or transcript of the interview. The video that has been broadcast—on World News Tonight, Nightline, and Good Morning America—has been cut and spliced in different ways, often so artfully that the transitions appear continuous. So beware what you’re seeing. But the video that’s available already shows, on closer inspection, that Maddy has been manipulated and misrepresented...
Saletan posted that yesterday afternoon. A full day later, his very sound warning holds!

Has Maddy been manipulated and misrepresented? For ourselves, we can’t say that at this point. But Saletan’s warning is apt. It’s astoundingly careless that ABC has released this material in chopped-up form, making it extremely hard to see what was actually said.

For some, the material may be inflammatory. ABC News doesn't seem to know or care.

Saletan does a fair amount of mind-reading concerning what Maddy was trying to say in this jumbled, seemingly self-contradictory session. That said, we think he skipped two of the most instructive parts of the transcripts, such as they are.

First, note the intellectual laziness of Roberts and ABC News as Maddy bungles the law:
ROBERTS: When you all sent that note to the judge asking for an explanation on manslaughter, what was that about?

JUROR B29: What we were trying to figure out was manslaughter, in order to be charged, we had to prove that when he left home, he said, “I'm gonna go kill Trayvon Martin.”

ROBERTS: Her own lawyer, David Chico, says even legal experts would have been confused.

CHICO (videotape): And I've thought a lot about it and I haven't really been able to come up with really another charge, except I mean, I think manslaughter was a charge that could be put forth.
In the highlighted passage, the juror completely misstates the nature of a manslaughter charge. Elsewhere, she misstates the law a second way.

Roberts simply ignores these problems. You don’t want to make Maddy look bad! Unlike Juror B37, Maddy has been cast in this drama as The Well-Intentioned Juror. She must not be challenged or questioned.

The second excerpt is even more striking. This may explain a lot of the conduct from the jurors in the past two weeks:
ROBERTS: Maddy says she had no idea that the world was watching so closely.

PROTESTOR (videotape): Solidarity!

ROBERTS: After the jury was released, she says she crumbled as the negative news reports about their verdict erupted.

JUROR B29: I literally fell on my knees and I broke down. My husband was holding me. I was screaming and crying, and I kept saying to myself I feel like I killed him. And I feel that if maybe if they would put the law, and a lot of people would read it, they would understand the choices that they gave us.
This juror is a regular person. She works as a nursing assistant; we will guess that she is one of the truly decent people among us. It's sad to hear this account of her reaction to the insults, recriminations and threats she may have seen.

One web site is offering rewards for the addresses of the jurors. In his statement last week, President Obama couldn’t even bring himself to speak well of their service. The base wouldn’t have liked it!

In the past week, we’ve seen jurors on the run as a virtual lynch mob continues to prowl the streets of The Net. This may explain why Maddy is trying to explain the thought crime she committed in voting not guilty.

Juror B37 did the same thing a few days after speaking with Anderson Cooper. The fact that jurors are forced to speak from the shadows, no last names given, represents a terrible breakdown in the social fabric.

With that in mind, let’s think about someone else who is on the run. Saletan is right on the money is making this observation about this juror:

“The phrase ‘got away with murder’ was put in her mouth.”

Thanks to Roberts' prompting, this juror became the second major figure to say, or seem to say, that Zimmerman “got away with murder.” (Inevitably, crackpot prosecutor Angela Corey was the first.)

Yesterday, Sybrina Fulton became the third. In yesterday's speech to the Urban League, Fulton was basically asking for an extrajudicial killing, whether she meant to or not. It’s good being Robin Roberts, toying with people’s lives in such deeply careless ways.

Reportedly, Roberts is paid $6 million per year. The rest of the scuts at ABC News are vastly overpaid too.

ABC has done incompetent, morally careless work. But then, when we deal with people like these, what the heck else is new?

136 comments:

  1. This is just terrifying, I read these precise accounts and have no idea how we could come to such a pass even though you explain how. Just terrifying.

    Angela Corey is beyond all understanding, but so is Robin Roberts who does not seem to care at all about just being a decent journalist.

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  2. ABC has done incompetent, morally careless work.

    IMHO it's likely that ABC did their immoral work carefully and competently.

    My local paper, the San Mateo Times, ran an AP report that naturally picked up the "got away with murder" meme. I guess this will forever remain as a part of the history, unfortunately.

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    1. Unfortunately, it's much more likely that Bob is right and you are wrong. Never subscribe to malice what can be attributed to stupidity or something like that.

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    2. Mere "stupidity" doesn't cut it anymore after a year and a half of the supposed "stupidity" nearly always redounding to the benefit of the anti-Zimmerman view.

      At some point logic and reason leads to the conclusion that this is deliberate. The producers and personalities involved are doing this with their eyes wide open and are being well-compensated for their efforts.

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    3. Agreed majneb

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  3. I have to say I'm with David on this one. Bob, after a year and a half of this behavior by the media, at a certain point descriptions like "incompetent" and "careless" simply don't cut it.

    No, what we have witnessed for the last year and a half has been a deliberate and unrelenting program of propaganda. I had a low opinion of the media before, but their behavior in this matter has simply astonished me beyond all measure.

    George Zimmerman, by all indications an innocent man, has been tried and convicted by the fourth estate and, if they have their way, will be executed, come hell or high water. This should chill the hearts of whatever number of principled progressives there are remaining.

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  4. Yes, the press treatment of the case has been generally contemptuous of the truth and generally threatening in tone given the assertions. I listened to several people at church who watched the entire proceedings and they are astonished at the repeated press falseness.

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  5. It is nothing short of horrifying to see the level of anamosity that the media has nurtured toward Zimmerman.

    Jurors are fearful, the couple he helped after a car wreck are fearful, his relatives and friends are fearful.

    What are we to do when we have a media that is so reckless, unaccountable, agenda-driven, and craven.

    God help anyone who runs afoul of them.

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  6. Bob,
    JHC!
    "Yesterday, Sybrina Fulton became the third. In yesterday's speech to the Urban League, Fulton was basically asking for an extrajudicial killing, whether she meant to or not".
    I did not hear her remarks and you deigned not to tell your readers what she said that prompted you to write that extraordinary description of her remarks.
    Her job (if I read you correctly) is to accept the killing of her son and STFU.
    JHC!
    The sliming and demonizing of Martin has been in full bloom at you site (including links to white supremacist sites). Now here comes the demonizing of his parents and you are the leader of the band.
    JHC!
    You taught inner city kids in Baltimore 30 years ago. Your bona-fides are impeccable. You can say whatever you like. The analysts all agree. As they enjoy their bagels.
    JHC!

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    1. If you don't know what the remarks were, why would you describe that description as extraordinary?

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    2. Tell me her remarks that suggested killing Zimmerman.
      Tell me.

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    3. "...all because of a law that has prevented the person who shot and killed my son to be held accountable and to pay for his awful crime."

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    4. It suggests that if the self defense laws that enabled Zimmerman to protect himself deprived TM of the ability to murder him, which is what his defenders think as well

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  7. Don't lie. Don't interpret.
    Tell me. Quote her remarks.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mrs. Fulton's remarks at the Urban League:

    "Wrap your mind around no prom for Trayvon, no high-school graduation for Trayvon, no college for Trayvon, no grandkids coming from Trayvon, all because of a law that has prevented the person who shot and killed my son to be held accountable and to pay for his awful crime."

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  9. Mrs. Fulton's statement on juror B29's interview:

    "It is devastating for my family to hear the comments from juror B29, comments which we already knew in our hearts to be true. That George Zimmerman literally got away with murder."

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    1. Where does that state (suggest) that Zimmerman should be killed extrajudicially?
      Try harder.

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  10. I don't get it. What's the latest charge? That this juror came out and said she believed Zimmerman was guilty because she was made to feel bad by protestors? Why did the other one come out, then?
    George Zimmerman's entire family are all over the news, along with his lawyer. Yet no one may speak on behalf of Martin? That's forbidden or the jurors might feel bad?
    No one spoke on behalf of Martin at that trial and now Zimmerman's online defense team object every time anyone talks about Martin now. What are you afraid of?

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    1. I think I speak for everyone when I say...WTF are you talking about?

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  11. Calling Zimmerman a murderer, saying that he got away with murder, stating that "a law ...has prevented the person who shot and killed my son to be held accountable and to pay for his awful crime," is incendiary language.

    I remember what happened at Freddy's Shoe Mart because of such language.


    ReplyDelete
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    1. Tell me where did she say (or imply) that Zimmerman should be killed extrajudicially?
      "Killing him extrajudicially" is a bit away from saying he should "be held accountable and to pay for his awful crime". No?
      I don't think I have seen any incendiary language at this or any other site.
      Again, try harder.

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    2. When a person suggests that another is a murderer and should be 'held accountable and pay for his awful crime' after the law has failed to hold that person accountable, it is implied that the suggested punishment is death. The numerous death threats received by Zimmerman and family seem to demonstrate that many have gotten the message.

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    3. No, it doesn't necessarily imply that. Just because you believe the state failed to hold someone accountable doesn't mean you believe that the person should be extra-judicially murdered.

      Big fan of Bob. But that was a huge stretch.

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    4. What does it mean you believe? How does Ms. Fulton think Zimmerman should be made to "pay" for his crime, now that she knows he will not be imprisoned?

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    5. Anonymous @ 1:50P,

      She blames the law. That law removes the duty to retreat, which would make lethal force in self-defense harder to assert successfully. That law does not require commensurate force, which makes lethal force in self-defense easier to assert successfully. The law in practice removes the possibility of making a case for wrongful death in civil court.

      I can't read her mind, but such a lament about the law is hardly a call for a revenge killing.

      Delete
  12. See above.
    No.
    You're either playing stupid or just plain stupid.
    No.

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    1. In a state in which the laws on the use of lethal force weren't written by the NRA, it would be possible for the state to enquire whether a defendant took all reasonable steps to retreat to avoid a fight that resulted in a killing.

      In a state in which the laws on the use of lethal force weren't written by the NRA, it would be possible to hold a non-criminal killer accountable in civil court.

      In a state of mind in which it's disturbing that the laws on the use of lethal force are written by the NRA, the anguished words of a mother whose son was shot to death can be distinguished from a call for a revenge murder.

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    2. The person pinned to the ground screaming for his life as blows rained down on him and his head was smashed into concrete should have been required to try harder to get away. The SYG law was moot because no safe retreat was possible. Obvious to a sane person.

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    3. The anguished mother will point fingers at everyone, including the NRA and the man her son brutally attacked, except herself.

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    4. "Written by the NRA". The NRA is a group of activists who believe in certain, extremely reasonable ideas that recognize the individual over the group in questions of gun policy. These individuals quite reasonably believe a person under brutal attack should not have to risk retreating if he reasonably believes he is facing imminent serious injury or death.

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    5. A person using a firearm in violation of any self defense provision including SYG faces serious penalties in addition to his basic sentence. There are disincentives to misusing those laws already in place. The only people complaining about them are law enforcement who see gangsters using them successfully and misinformed hysterical leftists worried thugs won't get enough leeway to threaten and harm people.

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    6. Ignoramus @ 9:07P -- Nice imagination if a little cliched. "Blows rained down on him." Career in TV screenwriting perhaps.

      Ignoramus @ 9:09P -- Blaming the mother! Tough love, eh?

      Ignoramus @ 9:13P -- "NRA" and "reasonable" in the same sentence. Career in TV sitcom writing perhaps.

      Ignoramus @ 9:27P -- It's almost impossible that anyone in a SYG state to face any penalties, civil or criminal, for killing the only witness that can rebut his story. This is a feature, not a bug. How about hysterical leftist law enforcement? What do they complain about?

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    7. Deadrat --

      Yes, Zimmerman definitely bloodied his own face and head.

      Also, it must be impossible for anyone to ever be convicted of murder, what with the only witness being killed and all. How do those poor cops ever prove anything?

      Delete
    8. majneb,

      I looked closely at my comment. Can't find a thing about Zimmerman's wounds being self-inflicted.

      Some states have a commensurate force rule. If someone breaks your nose in a fight, you can't legally kill him. Not Florida, which is why the verdict comported with the law. Do you suppose that what Martin's mom was talking about?

      And, that's right, pretend that I said it's impossible for anyone to ever be convicted of murder.

      Furthermore, there's no initial cap in my nym.

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    9. In how many states is it not ok to use deadly force if you reasonably believe it's necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury?

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    10. When assumptions exist based on Zimmerman's account of the incident and TM is assumed to be criminally motivated, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with racism.

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    11. majneb,

      None. In some states, the reasonability of your belief will be judged in part by the amount of force you encountered. In my cybertravels, I've found MA, MN, and OH.

      Delete
    12. gcwall,

      No matter what assumptions you make, it's possible that racism motivated both parties. Perhaps Zimmerman decided that Martin was suspicious for no reason other than that Martin was black. Perhaps Martin decided that Zimmerman was threatening solely because he was a "creepy-assed cracker." The trouble is that there's no direct evidence of either of their states of mind on this, and no evidence of a history of racism for either party. And, in fact, for Zimmerman, a history of the opposite.

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    13. "Some states have a commensurate force rule. If someone breaks your nose in a fight, you can't legally kill him. Not Florida, which is why the verdict comported with the law."

      But, deadrat, you are aware that it wasn't the broken nose that permitted Zimmerman to use deadly force on Martin, but that, combined with head injuries, the eyewitness testimony about positioning, and the screams for his life (and his possession of a gun which he would reasonably fear could be taken from him and used to kill him). All of these proved he was being beaten and was unable to escape, a situation that would clear any threshold required to justify deadly force in every state.

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    14. Anonymous @ 1:23P,

      You mean, combined with a minor scalp wound, the defendant screaming in a fight, the defendant's claim that his assailant might be going for his gun, and an eyewitness who couldn't testify to any blows.

      None of this "proved" that he was unable to escape, and no reliable evidence required him to.

      I agree that the jury reached a reasonable and perhaps the only reasonable verdict under Florida law. Would it clear every state's threshold? That I'm not ready to agree with.

      How come the more people present narrative, the more they believe it?

      Delete
  13. When reality & truth intrudes, hurl insults.

    p.s.
    Bob, You must be proud of the intellectual capacities of your new found readers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, it's a guy on "your side" who's hurling insults, calling every other commenter "ignoramus."

      Shame, since he usually makes good points.

      Delete
    2. Hey! I'm standing right here.

      The epithet "ignoramus" applies to those who are ignorant. It's the default state of the human condition, and is both preventable and curable. The word has applied to me on these pages, and I've admitted as such. This word stands in contrast to "liar," "racist," and "stupid," words we see here regularly.

      If you decide to post comments on a blog dedicated to the idea that narrative blocks understanding, and you feel the need to claim that it's clear that Martin was a thug who punched Zimmerman for no reason or that it's evident that Zimmerman stalked an innocent teenager, then you may already be an ignoramus.

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    3. Dude, you use "ignoramus" *constantly*! It's your default epithet for anyone who disagrees with you, even if they make no claim about the facts of the Martin/Zimmerman tragedy. Own it!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous @ 12:35P,

      I use "ignoramus" constantly because it's my default epithet for the ignorant, whether they make ignorant claims about the M/Z case or something else.

      And stop calling me "Dude."

      Delete
  14. Zimmerman was an altar boy when he was 17. Martin was committing brutal crimes during a school suspension. Ms. Fulton should be talking about that instead of touring with JayZ and Beyonce

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    Replies
    1. Zimmerman was also arrested for attacking an undercover cop.
      This incident should define him forever? Eh?
      Maybe not?
      We report, you decide.
      Martin was suspended from school, never arrested.
      High school kids in the Dakotas and Idaho never smoke pot and are never suspended.
      Keep fooling yourself.

      Delete
    2. From what I understand Zimmerman at most shoved a man that he observed in an altercation with his friend -- in other words he came to his friend's defense. Since the cop was undercover, Zimmerman had no reason to suspect that he was one.

      Not only did Martin vandalize school property, but he was caught, not only with an empty baggie of marijuana, but also with a bag of stolen jewelry at school. He denied it was his, but claimed a "friend" gave it to him. Uh-huh. He could have been arrested, but the school authorities chose to let it slide rather than add to the school's crime statistics.

      Delete
    3. majneb,

      From what you understand, eh? That's rich.

      Zimmerman got into a bar fight, but it was for the best of reasons, so you give him a pass. Martin scribbled some graffiti, but "vandalism" sounds so much worse.

      Sorry, no, there was no bag of marijuana and no bag of swag.

      Martin could have been arrested, like Zimmerman, but he wasn't. 'Cause it was a big conspiracy involving school authorities, dontchaknow.

      None of this is relevant to the killing or the trial. But it's pure gold for your narrative

      Delete
    4. Deadrat -

      Zimmerman shoved a man who he reasonably believed was instigating a fight with his friend. Thats the extent of the so called "bar fight." The man had never identified himself as an officer. I don't necessarily condone shoving anyone, especially in a bar, but a little context is in order. Its not like he sucker punched him and beat the shit out of him MMA style, for example...

      In regards to Martin, vandalism was the least of his exploits. Yes, he was caught with an empty baggie with traces of marijuana, and, much worse, he was caught with a bag full of jewelry that matched a description of recently stolen items from a nearby home. His only defense was that a "friend" had given it to him. That's enough probable cause for an arrest. Whether, all things considered, things would have turned out better if the school's police department HAD arrested him is unclear. But, they chose instead to suspend him again.

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    5. "Zimmerman was an altar boy..."

      You gotta love it. The very first thing Zimmerman did when he was arrested was conspire with his wife and sister to commit perjury at his bail hearing. Yeah, that's quite an altar boy you got there.

      Delete
    6. majneb,

      My point isn't that context isn't in order. I just don't believe any of the events you describe has any relevance to the case. My objection is to your addiction to narrative. Of the two, Zimmerman is the one with an arrest for violence, but you can excuse that because you know what he "reasonably believed." But you don't know that. What's actually true is that you think your own beliefs about the bar fight are reasonable. There's no evidence that Martin sucker-punched Zimmerman or that he "beat the shit out of him MMA style." They got into a fistfight, and Martin broke Zimmerman's nose. We don't know whether he was justified in doing do. Zimmerman says he wasn't, but he's a very interested party. Doesn't mean that he's necessarily wrong, of course. Just that we don't know, even if you think you do.

      The baggie of marijuana is now a baggies with a trace amount. The bag full of swag was actually 12 pieces of jewelry that the Miami police couldn't connect to any thefts. So, no, there probably wan't probable cause for an arrest. Which doesn't mean that Martin wasn't in possession of stolen property. But again we don't know, even if you think you do.

      Your narrative changes with my objections to its particulars. But you've always got more story.

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    7. mm, the very first thing that happened was Zimmerman lost his job. I can understand someone not wanting to report internet money raised for his defense as a personal asset during the bail hearing. THAT is the perjury you are referring to when you say he and his wife conspired (your fantasy of what happened) to commit perjury and it is understandable under the circumstances. I can also understand that no one wants to empathize with the problems Zimmerman has encountered throughout the trial process, but I do not believe that their efforts to cope, intelligent or not, are any indication of basic truthfulness at the time of his arrest. How well would you and your wife cope with suddenly losing your job, your place to live, perhaps friends, and suddenly being the focus of media attention, hatred from the public, and having to pay for both court costs and legal representation? I doubt you have a rainy-day fund for that purpose.

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    8. Zimmerman had every reason to believe it was him against the system at that point. The judge was subsequently kicked off the case and replaced for his outrageous conduct.

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    9. "We don't know whether he was justified in doing do. Zimmerman says he wasn't, but he's a very interested party"

      All of the evidence supports Zimmerman's account including the 4 minutes as highly reliable proof Martin was not fearful but aggressive, Zimmerman's fear expressed in his call, and the absence of evidence of injury on Martin other than the gunshot and fist abrasions.

      Delete
    10. AnonymousJuly 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      Simply astounding.
      Yes, the legal term for what he conspired with his wife to do was commit perjury. Argue with the judge.

      Poor little Georgie. Things just happen to him. He's never responsible. All he did was commit homicide and everyone's trying to make a big deal of it. As he told his neighbor to tell his wife, "just tell her I shot someone"

      Delete
    11. Martin caused his own death. If anyone is responsible other than himself, it only includes those who never taught him not to brutally attack other people.

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    12. All of the evidence is CONSISTENT with MOST (not all) of Z's story. But then, it's consistent with ALL of some other alternative narratives as well. Why do I say "most (not all)"? Because there are a few things that are highly implausible about Z's story given the evidence. The one that stands out the most to me is that he says he did not turn down the base of the "T" to pursue M, and he claims that when M confronted him he had already passed the intersection of the "T" on his way back to the truck, and that's when Martin punched him, KNOCKING HIM BACK a little. And of course we know Martin then ended up on top of him. But if all of that is true . . . then how the hell did they ended up what appears to be a good 15 to 20 feet down the base of the "T"? It's not impossible that they scuffled and somehow ended up that far down the base of the "T." But it's highly unlikely if what Z says is true, and Z had no real explanation for it in his reenactment video. He is also obviously highly motivated to lie about the extent to which he pursued M, and there are some pretty strong indications that he was lying about the extent of his pursuit of M during the interrogation.

      "proof Martin was not fearful but aggressive" -- I don't know how many times I have to go through this before it sinks in: fear and aggressiveness are not somehow contradictory. As I stated before: It's more likely than not that Martin WAS frightened, just not so much that his fear overwhelmed his sense of moral outrage. Common sense would dictate that he more likely than not felt at least some measure of fear at various points during the incident, and HE DID RUN AWAY at one point -- but then apparently had a change of heart. Martin was (justifiably) outraged by what most likely appeared to him to be a stranger's predatory behavior directed at him (as most of us would be). But that doesn't mean he didn't also feel some measure of fear, too.

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    13. "But if all of that is true . . . then how the hell did they ended up what appears to be a good 15 to 20 feet down the base of the "T"?"

      He described reeling after being hit and trying to get away. His small flashlight (still "on") and keys and Martin's phone were found immediately after the police arrived, at the location he said the fight started.

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    14. "Martin caused his own death." That is just absurd to the point of being funny. A strange man with a loaded gun pursues Martin at night; when Martin confronts him, the stranger starts searching for something on his person; Martin then attacks his pursuer and is shot and killed. But "Martin caused his own death" -- as though no other factors could possibly have any role to play in his death -- your little right-wing conservative mind has to put 100% of the blame on the black "thug" and 0% on the "white" gun carrier, instead of realizing there was a lot more nuance to the situation. If you need help, here are a couple of other things that played a big role in Martin's death: possible overzealousness on the part of a neighborhood watch captain; the watch captain's refusal to identify or explain himself or even to initiate ANY type of dialogue with Martin because, according to what he said during the police interrogation, he was too fearful of Martin to say anything to him; false assumptions on BOTH Martin's and Zimmerman's parts -- assumptions that, to my mind, were actually very reasonable but still turned out to be wrong (and just happened to collide in somewhat of a fluke of a tragedy). This is one of the problems with your little rigid view of the world: It won't allow for nuance, for gray areas; everything has to be "black and white" (pun intended), and all the facts have to support your view of how the universe works.

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    15. "His small flashlight (still "on") and keys and Martin's phone were found immediately after the police arrived, at the location he said the fight started." If true, that would certainly add more evidence that is consistent with Zimmerman's story. But don't get ahead of yourself. It would only confirm WHERE the fight started, not HOW. And Z is still pretty clearly lying at various points about the extent of his pursuit -- and the officers even call him on it. And as I've stated before, even if Z's story turns out to be 100% true, that still does not mean M had zero justification for attacking Z, considering all of the specific details leading up to Martin's verbally confronting Zimmerman in combination with Zimmerman's then reaching for something on his person. Nor would it mean that ALL of Zimmerman's decisions that night were above reproach.

      Delete
    16. Here is how Martin caused his own death: (1) behaving suspiciously by being off the sidewalk and looking in windows of empty homes; (2) walking toward Zimmerman with hands in pants and glaring at him; (3) coming back to Zimmerman after he had gone back to his house and had the chance to stay in safety; (4) beating Zimmerman to the point that he feared for his life by straddling him after knocking him down and hitting him MMA-style and hitting his head against concrete (at least once, based on presence of cuts on the back of his head). There are several points where Martin could have done something differently, especially (1) not aggressively challenging Zimmerman at two different points, (2) staying home once he had reached his home, and (3) not physically attacking Zimmerman so severely that he feared for his life.

      I have heard many people try to characterize Martin as a teen engaged in innocent behavior. I cannot see how the average teen would confront an older adult that way, deliberately seek out a second confrontation by returning to Zimmerman after he had fled and escaped, and beating what he supposed to be an unarmed man so severely that he (1) was knocked to the ground, (2) straddled, and (3) was raining blows on him MMA-style. This is such aggressive behavior that I cannot imagine the average teen doing it. That, coupled with the text of Martin's cell phone, is why I do not believe in the innocent characterizations asserted by those critical of Zimmerman and believe that Martin contributed to his own death.

      It may not be Martin's fault that he grew up in the environment he found himself in, but to deny this is thug behavior, violent and atypical of what we expect in teens, simply denies the facts of this case in my opinion, and slanders the vast majority of teens (regardless of race) who would never behave this way under these circumstances. I am concerned that when we portray Martin as an innocent victim, we communicate to kids that this is normal, typical, acceptable teen behavior, when it is clearly not -- because it can lead to tragedies like this one.

      Delete
    17. slanders the vast majority of teens (regardless of race) who would never behave this way under these circumstances. I am concerned that when we portray Martin as an innocent victim, we communicate to kids that this is normal, typical, acceptable teen behavior,

      The subtext is also there that this is normal, typical, acceptable behavior, in particular, for black teens. Ugly stuff put out there by the race hustlers and deeply warped "progressives" who believe thuggery should be accommodated. An effort to convince people to accept a legal standard that removes the right of self-defense and requires a person to face penalties if he refuses to allow his life or health to be jeopardized, especially if his assailant is black.

      Delete
    18. "assumptions that, to my mind, were actually very reasonable but still turned out to be wrong and just happened to collide in somewhat of a fluke of a tragedy"

      I don't deny those assumptions existed but they are entirely irrelevant as to where the culpability lies for events that unfolded that night. Unless you want to criminalize the act of a mistaken suspicion, or the act of suspecting in the first place, or extremely modest, non-aggressive attempts to keep your suspect in sight to inform a dispatcher. Extremely elitist to impose that standard on people who live in neighborhoods where police protection alone proves utterly inadequate.

      Delete
    19. I am not denying that Martin made some poor decisions and as a result bears MUCH of the blame for his own death. That doesn't mean "Martin caused his own death" period, full-stop -- and NOTHING ELSE played any role. I already described above OTHER things that played a role. You want it to be 100% on Martin. THAT is the problem I have with your side's view of this -- the refusal to see that it wasn't ALL Martin's fault. If you can't see how Martin was PROVOKED into his bad behavior by Zimmerman's actions, you just aren't trying hard enough to see the entire series of events that occurred that night, in full vivid detail, from the perspective of the person being pursued. It was not simply "thuggish" behavior on Martin's part that explains his conduct -- there was a very specific set of circumstances that preceded that conduct (not to mention other broader cultural and familial factors that possibly added fuel to the fire). But you want it to be 100% about Martin's supposed "thuggishness" -- as if Martin acted in a complete vacuum that night -- as if he acted like the TRUE thugs of the world, who attack people with NO provocation.

      Also, once again you are ignoring the very distinct possibility that the final straw that might have triggered Martin's attack might have been Zimmerman's reaching for his phone (if that was really what he what he was reaching for). You're "lizard brain," as Somerby might say, right now is probably saying, "But reaching for a phone doesn't justify an attack." But that is to ignore all the other details that CULMINATED in Z's reaching for the phone. And I don't know what the law might say about it, but even if Martin were not LEGALLY justified, there are many people in many areas scarier than where you probably come from that think Martin WAS "justified."

      Delete
    20. "...those assumptions...are entirely irrelevant as to where the culpability lies for events that unfolded that night. Unless you want to criminalize the act of a mistaken suspicion,..."

      Wrong. They MIGHT be "entirely irrelevant" in terms of the law (I don't really know). But we were not discussing the legal aspects of this. We were discussing your insistence that, "Martin caused his own death," and nothing else played a role.

      Delete
    21. Mike L....Welcome to the fray. You're one of the savvy few who get it in the discussions.

      Delete
    22. Thanks Lacywood. And you're one of the savvy few who recognize I'm one of the savvy few. :)

      Delete
  15. LBJ

    " Reporters are puppets. They simply respond to the pull of the most powerful strings. Every reporter has a constituency in mind when he writes his stories. Sometimes it is simply his editor or his publisher, but often it is some political group that he wants to please or some intellectual society that he wants to court. . . There is no such thing as an objective news story."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The media's "constituency" is the media.

      They write to and for each other.

      Delete
  16. Being pretty is more important than being intelligent when it comes to making it into a mainstream TV channel.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Quaker in a BasementJuly 27, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Among her many skills, Robert goes from 9 hours of deliberation to 16 in just under two minutes.

    No, she doesn't. If you're going to insist on clarity from others, you really should practice it yourself. Nowhere in the quoted material does Roberts say that deliberations lasted only 9 hours. She says there was 9 hours between the first vote and the last. You're assuming that the first vote took place at the beginning of deliberations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The jurors said they took a vote right away to see where everyone stood.

      Delete
    2. What Somerby said in full context was [my emphasis]:

      >>>>>Maybe there's some explanation for that apparent contradiction, but it doesn't appear in the transcript. Among her many skills, Robert goes from 9 hours of deliberation to 16 in just under two minutes.<<<<<

      Quaker in a Basement,

      You're right, the vote was not taken right away according to "Maddy." However, we are then left to wonder if the "9 hour" data point comes from a part of the interview which has not been released and what else then might have been said at that point. And online there are several ABC edited clips of the full edited clip from various ABC presentations, the longest version being one that you have to know you're looking for in order to find it. Here's my transcript of the relevant segment from, what I think is, the full edited version:

      >>>>>
      Robin Roberts: [00:30] Take us into the deliberations. You've heard all the evidence, you've heard the closing arguments, all of that. You go into the room for the first time, together as a group, did you take a vote right away...

      "Maddy": [00:43] No.... [interviewee slowly shaking her head indicating the negative]

      Robin Roberts: ...to see where you stand?

      "Maddy": [00:45] [interveiwee continues slowly shaking her indicating the negative] ...we didn't take a vote.

      Robin Roberts: What was your first vote?

      "Maddy": My first vote was second degree murder.

      Robin Roberts: And many people are wanting to know how'd you go from, in nine hours, from feeling he was guilty of second degree murder to not guilty?

      "Maddy": It was hard. A lot of us wanted to find something bad, something we could connect to the law because all six of us- well let's not speak for all six of us- for myself he's guilty because the evidence shows he's guilty.

      Robin Roberts: He's guilty of?

      "Maddy": [1:15] Killing Trayvon Martin. But we couldn't prove that intentionally he killed him. And that's the way that the law was read to me.
      <<<<<

      Delete
  18. Here is what is going to happen. It started with Casey Anthony and it is going to explode with George Zimmerman. Thanks to a corrupt, biased media along with a criminally ignorant public mob, No jury is going to feel safe coming back with any verdict other than guilt. The media and the morally bankrupt public who gets their entertainment by trial watching will have pretty much destroyed our justice system. They've harassed these jurors so much that they live in fear now and future jurors will remember. It's happened with only 2 high profile cases. Mark my words: if you get arrested for something you are already going to be guilty and a trial will be nothing other than a spectator sport with a predetermined ending.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Medic! Commenter down and out on the fainting couch at 1:17A. Smelling salts, stat!

      Oh, Sparky? There's no such crime as criminal ignorance. Good thing for you, eh?

      Delete
    2. The Anthony jury was confused by forensic testimony and obviously either not very bright or too lazy to make their case if they were inclined to convict. Practically every legal expert who saw every minute of the trial confidently predicted a conviction, and the judge later said there was more than enough evidence to convict. Zimmerman's case was different. The charges were so clearly unsupported even the dumbest jury would have recognized it.

      The jurors should not be harassed for speaking but the only lesson in it for future jurors is not to talk about the case days after a verdict.

      Delete
    3. The Anthony juror I heard speak seemed to be under the delusion that if they did not know exactly how Casey brought about the death that they had to acquit...She also did not seem to realize that Anthony's lies and coverup at the beginning of the investigation was evidence of the obvious fact that she was directly linked to the killing or the set up of the killing.

      Delete
  19. Uh, Bob. Vitually all coverage of the trial indicated the jury deliberations lasted 16 hours. Nowhere does Roberts suggest the 9 hours between votes were the length of deliberation. But you, for reasons you do not explain, state as fact she used two time periods to describe the length of deliberations.

    Since this is an error used to demean Roberts skill as part of your narrative, I know we will see a correction.

    And while you are working on that correction, explain how you got inside Roberts head to determine her failure to do what you think she should have done was because she didn't "want to make Maddy look bad!" Did you do it through the same mind reading power you used to determine that Obama "couldn't bring himself" to speak well of the juror's service because it would make the base mad?

    High horse hypocrisy. Thank heavens our analysts don't have your high salary to complain about as well.

    ReplyDelete
  20. An interesting fact about the second amendment wailers is that the second appears to be the only right of the first ten for which they have concern.

    If it wasn't for the fact that the only right they seem to care about are second amendment gun rights and stand your ground laws their statements might be credible.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Whatever petty crimes TM may have been involved with in the past, the fact remains that he did not deserve to be murdered on the night he was followed by a man with a gun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deserves got nothing to do with it.

      Delete
    2. gcwall,

      He didn't even deserve to be killed on that night. What's your point?

      Delete
    3. The petty crimes are important because they shed light on what may have happened, especially whether Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman. They are not the justification for the shooting and no one has suggested they were. Straddling Zimmerman and hitting him were the reason he was shot, not his school suspensions, but the cell phone discussion of fighting supports the witness testimony that Martin was indeed hitting Zimmerman, causing him to fear for his life, which resulted in the shooting.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous @ 10:50A,

      What you're saying is that the petty "crimes" for which Martin was never charged are important for some people's narrative. But for the criminal trial, not so much. Maybe straddling was the reason, maybe hitting, maybe a loose gun in the fight. There was no testimony that Martin hit Zimmerman, although that's certainly about the only reasonable inference to draw. But cell phone "discussions" don't support anything at all relevant in this case.

      Delete
    5. There was testimony giving physical evidence that Martin hit Zimmerman, including his broken nose, the cuts on the back of his head, Martin's DNA on the shoulder of Zimmerman's jacket, and the abrasions on Martin's hands. There is also the eyewitness testimony by Good that Martin was straddling Zimmerman and raining blows on him MMA-style -- Good said he saw them thrown but not land. The possibility of a "loose gun in the fight" is speculation and there is no testimony that happened.

      Delete
    6. The cell phone contents aren't necessary in the criminal trial for clearing reasonable doubt and justified use of force thresholds. But they are useful now in supporting the likelihood that Martin would attack Zimmerman in the way Zimmerman claimed. If Martin were the 12 year old in the photos with no history of fighting, burglary, dealing in drugs and guns, school suspensions one would be more likely to find the thuggish behavior Zimmerman alleged to be out of character for Martin. As the facts stand, it's not hard to believe in the least.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous @ 3:14, Exhibits introduced at trial showed Zimmerman with injuries. Testimony vouched for their authenticity. This differs from testimony that Martin hit Zimmerman. If Good didn't see the blows land, then he didn't testify to raining blows on Zimmerman. I don't see any reasonable explanation except that Martin hit Zimmerman, but is it too hard to get these things right? And didja see the word "maybe" in front of "a loose gun"?

      Anonymous @ 3:56, Cell phone records made before the fight are useful in supporting the narrative that Martin would attack Zimmerman. When you say "one would be more likely," you really mean that you would be more likely. As the world stands it's not hard to believe your own narrative. In fact, it's hard to stick to what's known when if it doesn't support your narrative.

      Delete
    8. deadrat, after a very limited foray against gcwall's nonsense, has returned to the (more important?) task of correcting "pro-Zimmerman" narrative minutia.

      But returning to the OP for a moment: "murder" gcwall? You are disgusting.

      Delete
  22. Lawyer-blogger says in his opinion,

    Juror B29′s partial recantation is neither unusual nor of any significance. It is a typical case of juror remorse.

    He explains why is this post.

    ReplyDelete
  23. That comment comes from Lawyer-blogger John Hinderaker

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And who could possibly dispute the man who said about George W Bush:
      POSTED ON JULY 28, 2005 BY JOHN HINDERAKER
      A STROKE OF GENIUS?
      It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.

      Delete
    2. Oof! That's gonna leave a mark.

      Delete
    3. It's sad when we resort to ad hominem 1:36, sadder still when we praise it, deadrat.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous @ 6:41,

      So early in the morning, and someone already has a sad. But I'm guessing that you didn't actually follow DAinCA's thoughtfully provided link to Hinderaker's piece. If you had, you'd have found him musings about juror B29's lack of intelligence and pontificating that "... [T]he salient point is that when you feel something in your heart, despite a lack of evidence, you are indulging a bias or prejudice."

      Here's my "salient" point. I don't think we need to take much notice of the opinions of someone who thinks Il Dunce was a man of extraordinary vision. DAinCA mostly lives in the world of opinion, a good deal of it adopted from people like Hinderaker, and although he seems immune from irony, it's not a bad idea to acquaint him with examples.

      Of course, any statement of fact that Hinderaker makes either stands or falls on the evidence, independent of his admiration for men of extraordinary vision, and if we take notice of those kind of statements, we should measure then against the evidence. His opinions on matters of the heart and the intelligence of others, not so much.

      Delete
    5. "any statement of fact that Hinderaker makes either stands or falls on the evidence, independent of his admiration for men of extraordinary vision"

      Yes, which is why it's the work of an ignoramus, if you'll pardon my borrowing the term, to praise an ad hominem attack, as you did at 3:04.

      Instead of spilling more words, just own it, ignoramus.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous @ 12:39P,

      Let me type it again, slower this time, so you can follow: When people like DAinCA offer the opinions of people like Hinderaker as support for their positions, I think it's fair to examine other opinions expressed by the source. Hinderaker thinks that Juror B29 is stupid. I think we can disregard that judgment from someone who thinks Il Dunce was a man of brilliance approaching genius. YMMV.

      If Hinderaker makes a statement about for example, what the Florida statutes say about the legal use of lethal force, then I'll look at the statutes and not Hinderaker's political opinions.

      What's not clear about this?

      Delete
  24. All else aside, neighborhood watchers are told by the police not to follow and not to carry a gun. One might also wonder why when asked why are you following me that he didn't identify himself as a neighborhood watchman. You also have to wonder about who threw the first punch in light of the fact that TM had first tried to run away. It seems that TM had a stronger case of self defense that was never emphasized.
    It's also peculiar that juror B29 thought GZ had to leave his house planning to kill in order to find him guilty of manslaughter. Is it possible that she was talked into this by the not guilty leaning jurists? Perhaps this occurred after the Judge asked for specifics in response to the jurists query about manslaughter. Odd that there was no reply and the verdict came shortly thereafter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was no possibility to legitimately find him guilty of manslaughter under the law. None of the evidence supported any illegal activity on George Zimmerman's part up to the point of firing the shot. If he acted in self defense at the time he fired the shot (which he did), he could not be found guilty of any crime in firing the shot. The case should have never been brought, as juror B29 rightly observed.

      Delete
    2. Conduct need not be illegal to create a manslaughter case in Florida. Reckless or careless conduct can justify that charge. A Florida woman was charged this past week with manslaughter for leaving the kiddie pool to go to the bathroom and a kid drowned.

      Delete
    3. There was no "disregard for human life while engaging in wanton or reckless behavior." Not in carrying a gun legally, not in walking on a sidewalk he had a right to be on, not in calling police, not even in "following." Nothing happened that would lead a reasonable person to predict the outcome, and nothing happened that would lead someone to believe Martin's attack on Zimmerman was justified (the 4 minutes put an end to that as a reasonable belief). Likewise no one would reasonably believe that Martin glaring and walking up to Zimmerman's car would justify Zimmerman shooting him dead at that point.

      Even if there was a shred of evidence Zimmerman had punched Martin first, there would be no legitimate manslaughter verdict because he would still recover his right to self defense when he was placed in the circumstances he was when he shot.

      Categorizing Zimmerman's behavior as manslaughter is essentially legitimizing the idea that someone may attack someone when there has been no legal provocation.

      One wonders why the anti-Zimmerman crowd just doesn't come right out and say they think Martin should have had a right to attack Zimmerman for offending him, and that Zimmerman should have lost his right to self defense for offending Martin?

      Delete
    4. You just ignore that Z stalked TM, refused to identify or explain himself when asked (required even of police officers under Florida law to escape possible manslaughter charges), and admits grabbing toward his gun when he (Z) was asked why he was stalking TM. So there was clear provocation and reckless conduct by Zimmerman. And "provoking" can negate a manslaughter defense. Those are the facts the prosecution could have utilized but did not.

      Delete
    5. Walking on a sidewalk in your community you are entitled to walk on, including while looking for an address for a dispatcher you've called, even if it includes looking around for someone you believe "ran" and "is gone" so that you can provide information to a dispatcher, is not "stalking."

      If a hand movement is provocation that entitled Martin to attack Zimmerman, then Zimmerman had already been similarly "provoked" earlier when Martin walked up to his car with his hands in his pants, which suggested to Zimmerman he might be reaching for a weapon. Are you arguing that this gave Zimmerman the right to leap out of his car and attack Martin?

      Martin doubling back to confront Zimmerman was yet another provocation, which happened before Zimmerman's hand movement.

      ALL of it becomes moot when Zimmerman recovers his right to use deadly force due to Martin's actions, which happened when he was knocked to the ground, beaten and left no safe avenue of escape.

      There was not a case to be made for any crime. This was a travesty and Zimmerman was a victim.

      Delete
    6. Anon 2:35, you're lying about the facts and evidence using the fabrications Z concocted when his contradictions were confronted by police and Hannity. Why be willfully ignorant....Is it a love for guns or a hatred for blacks?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous @ 2:43P,

      Anon @ 2:35P is a little too fond of his own narrative. Martin doubling back to confront Zimmerman isn't provocation unless it's accompanied by a threat. And he takes Zimmerman's self-serving accounts as fact. Which they may well be. Or not.

      But I see no basis in Anon's words to read his mind to conclude that he's lying or that he's refusing to consider evidence or that he loves guns or that he hates black people. He's just disagreeing with your narrative.

      Delete
    8. I was using a very diluted definition of provocation that matches anon 2:04's. If moving your hand to reach your phone when someone confronts you is a provocation, then so is doubling back to confront Zimmerman ("following" him if you will) or walking up to his truck glaring with his hands in his pants ("following" and "reaching" if you will). All of those definitions of provocation are ridiculous as justifications for a physical attack. All are also irrelevant to whether Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous @ 3:50P,

      By themselves, I'd say none of those things constitute legal provocation by themselves. But we don't really know what went on, if anything, that might make the circumstances if not provoking, at least reasonably but mistakenly provoking.

      Provocation is relevant to the use of deadly force. Which isn't to assume provocation happened.

      Delete
    10. You guys are hilarious. Z has admitted his phone was not where he grabbed ("toward his pants pocket") and that he knew the cops were almost there (so there was no reason to call 911)...So you're left with the only reasonable excuse for Z, that he wasn't grabbing for his gun but to scratch his balls.

      Delete
    11. It really does defy all common sense that Z would have been reaching for his phone at THAT. MOMENT. He was TERRIFIED of Martin -- his phone call to the police confirms this, his later admission that he was scared of Martin (too scared to even say anything to him according to his own admission) confirms this. Plus, at that moment, he was outside the safety of his vehicle, too far from it to make a run for it, alone, in the dark (flashlight not working), walking back to his truck, when suddenly the "suspect" appears and confronts him -- the "suspect" he assumed to be another "fucking punk" criminal, whom he had already provoked. He's going to reach for the "safety" of a redundant phone call for police instead of the REAL safety of his gun at THAT. MOMENT? Bullshit. What is talking to someone on the phone going to do for him at that crucial moment of truth when he's face-to-face with this 6 foot tall black "criminal" and there's not a cop or other soul around? I'm not buying it, unless someone points out something that I'm overlooking here, or more evidence comes to light. (And just to state the obvious, even if Zimmerman WAS reaching for his phone, Martin would have no way of knowing that, so a preemptive attack would still be called for since Martin couldn't take the chance that this "predator" was just reaching for a phone or a stick of gum.)

      Delete
    12. He knew the police were on their way. It made sense for him to try to hit his emergency button or call them back. Martin's belief at that moment was irrelevant. He'd already made the decision to attack. He didn't double back to have a conversation.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous @ 8:07P,

      Martin "already made the decision to attack." What's the number for your psychic hot line?

      Delete
    14. deadrat @8:38

      Try 1 - 888-Call Bob.

      You won't get a pyschic but you will get
      a guy who can read the minds of reporters, jurors, and even Presidents. Telling you what a thug is thinking should be a piece of cake.

      Delete
    15. This makes no sense: "He knew the police were on their way. It made sense for him to try to hit his emergency button or call them back."

      And it adds nothing that I didn't already know when I wrote what I wrote above. The more vividly I put myself in Zimmerman's situation, the more ludicrous the whole reaching-for-my-phone story becomes. It's totally naïve to believe that a person who has JUST gotten off the phone with the police about a dangerous "suspect" and knows the police are on their way, and who is now suddenly and unexpectedly face-to-face with that "suspect," whom they are terrified of, have already provoked, and who may physically assault them at any instant, would choose a phone over a gun at that crucial moment -- the last moment they may have before being overwhelmed. I just don't buy it. It is precisely that type of situation for which people like Zimmerman carry and train with a licensed handgun to begin with!

      But also, as deadrat alluded to, you don't know that Martin had "already made the decision to attack." In fact, if he had really already made up his mind to attack no matter what, then why would he even bother to give Zimmerman the courtesy of letting him know he was sneaking up behind him, by asking "You got a problem?" That makes no sense. Assuming Zimmerman's story is true, the sequence of those last couple of "events" (for lack of a better term) just before the altercation erupts strongly suggests that Martin had NOT already made up his mind to attack, but was fully PREPARED to do so depending on how Zimmerman responded to being confronted. Per Zimmerman, he had already passed the intersection of the "T" when Martin came up from the base of the "T" behind him and asked, "You got a problem?" Z: "No, I don't have a problem." Then Z starts (very likely frantically) reaching for his gun. And that's when Martin pounces.

      Delete
    16. So Martin doubled back to have a chat? Why did Jeantel assume he "just got in a fight"?

      Delete
    17. Regarding your first question, see my post directly above -- that tells you why I think Martin doubled back and it tells you why I think that.

      Regarding your second question, obviously by itself Jeantel's assumption doesn't prove anything. It could be because the phone call ended so abruptly, or because she knew Martin was a fighter and on that basis made her assumption. Who knows? And to repeat: if Martin had really already made up his mind to attack NO MATTER WHAT, then why would he even bother to give Zimmerman the courtesy of letting him know he was sneaking up behind him, by asking "You got a problem?" That makes no sense.

      Delete
  25. Zimmerman Redux: The Breaking Louisiana Self-Defense Case of Merritt Landry

    Merritt Landry, a 33-year-old “white caucasian” shot the victim, a 14-year-old black boy, in the head. A single spent cartridge case was recovered at the scene...The hour of the shooting was approximately 2:00AM, on Friday, July 26, 2013...

    The victim was shot within feet from the rear door of Landry’s dwelling in New Orleans, in an area accessible only by having to scale a locked fence, suggesting forcible entry onto the property by the victim....

    Landry has been charged with attempted second degree murder...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow,David. What a surprise to see you show up with a link from a right wing blog. So even in deep red Louisiana the cops are now dancing to the tune of the race hustling lynch mob and falsely charging poor aggrieved white folk exercising their contitutional, statutory, common law, and commonsense right to plug miscreant black youth.

      Looks like Mr. Landry was the right color but wearing the wrong city uniform if he wanted to avoid sanction for shooting black people in Nola.

      Delete
  26. "Likewise no one would reasonably believe that Martin glaring and walking up to Zimmerman's car would justify Zimmerman shooting him dead at that point."

    Let's see. Zimmerman stopped his car after passing Martin calls the cops and stares at Martin. Martin, continuing in the direction he was already headed has to pass Zimmerman's car. He looks back at the stranger who stopped his car and has been staring at him the whole time. Translated by chickenshit "I wuz afwaid" Georgie, Martin walked up to his car and was glaring at him.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "Incompetent, morally careless work" writes the underpaid defender of civilization hanging by a thread.

    Poo Stinks Part 1

    Our analysts scurried to verify the fecklessness Mr. Somberby ascribed to broadcasts of an interview on ABC, which he chastised for not posting said interview in full, unedited form. Unfortunately Somerby failed to link to any of the broadcasts, so his readers could go directly and find out if his characterization is accurate.

    What do we find when we go to the links ABC does provide and compare them to Mr. Somberby's assertion in order to judge relative competence and feckled or feckless morality?

    He first asserts Robin Roberts of ABC doesn't explain how she goes from "9 hours of deliberation to 16 in just under two minutes" but says there may be an explanation not in the transcript. Our analysts note, in the video clip Roberts asks if the initial vote was taken right away (the juror says, no) and then asks the juror what happened "during the 9 hours between her vote for second degree and the final vote..." Perhaps they suggest, Somerby has a hearing or ear cleaning problem. We. ourselves, hve no idea. Maybe Roberts didn't provide Somerby with the explanation because there none needed for an attentive viewer?

    Next Somerby chastises Ms. Roberts for the infamous, oft made and incorrect "stay in your car" exchange between Zimmerman and the Sanford dispatcher. This "suggestion" language comes in an interim segment giving a history of the actual evening of the shooting. Someby doesn't tell readers that during this segment, ABC plays the actual taped call and transcribes the words on the screen, so an informed viewer knows the dispatcher asks Zimmerman "Are you following him?", and, after Zimmerman says "Yes," tell's him, "We don't need you to do that." Somerby is right about her spoken words, but ignores ABS gave viewers plenty with which to ascertain how the "suggestion" was made. This throws open a point people on either side of the great Zimmerman v. Martin divide often ignore. Neither the dispatcher's question/suggestion nor Zimmerman's answer deal with his location in or out of the car! He is asked if he is following the youth. He had been doing so earlier by car. By now he is on foot. In either case, he was doing something the Sanford PD did not need him to do! The following business is what set the ultimate homicide in motion. Shame on Bob for overlooking this time and again, and shame on everyone who then focuses on how long Trayvon took to get to his apartment but ignore how long Zimmerman, following this exchange, had to get back to his vehicle before any confrontation possibly could have taken place, regardless who initiated it.

    By now our analysts are confused. Did the press elect Bush. Did Bush even beat Gore. Did Gore really run for President? We'll cover that in part II.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous 7:23 and 7:35: Congratulations for your analytical and factual posts. They are somewhat rare here these days.

      Delete
    2. Excellent point about the car. Even the detectives were confused about that when they interviewed z .

      Delete
  28. "Incompetent, morally careless work" writes the underpaid defender of civilization hanging by a thread.

    Poo Stinks Part Deux

    Assured by Wikepedia that Bush and Gore once faced off in a real election, our analysts (cute little Rachel Maddowlike critters designed to make Bob Somerby more professorial) delved further into his civilization saving critique of ABC.

    Somerby proceeds by chastising Roberts for ignoring the juror for displaying her ignorance about the law. This would be fine we suppose, but Somerby has attacked numerous trained lawyers on TV for themselves displaying equal ignorance. Somerby then states a motive for Roberts ignoring the juror. This, our most snide analyst points out, would have required Somerby to be inside Roberts's head.

    But crawling inside the conscious mind of Roberts is only the first time philopspher/psycholanalyst Somerby performs that trick. He quickly follows by getting in Maddy's head, attributing her comments as reactions to things she "may have seen." Of course she also may not have seen them. Given her eight kids, husband and a job to attend to, she may not peruse the internet. In fact, her answer, given the implication by Somerby that the broadcast was an immoral exercise in editing by ABC, may not even be in reaction to the narrative of Roberts that it follows. That's OK for Bob. He is already off reading the mind of President Obama.

    Using cover of William Saletan, the phrase ‘got away with murder’ was put in Juror Maddy's mouth. Yes indeed, asked to respond to Roberts question of what she would say to the many people who are saying Zimmerman got away with murder, the juror repeats that phrase after reflecting on it. In fact she not only says he got away with murder but will have to answer to God. Both Saletan and Somerby disappear the last part of her answer. You have to if you are implying she is Roberts's trained parrot. She might be saying he was judged not guilty under man's law but will face a more demanding jury with unlimited and eternal rule making/sentencing power. The phrase "He'll rot in hell" comes to mind as something a more colorful believer in that sort of Supreme Being business might say.

    All in all we came away relieved we have Bob Somerby to demonstrate both ABC's failings and his own. Roberts it seems made one error which was offset by audio visual coverage which occured simultaneously. Morally feckless by any stretch of the old imagination. We remind Bob, as we often have, that everyone's poo stinks, and draws flies. He might look around at the kind flies he has been drawing lately. They are flailing away MMA style on the piles of stuff in the barnyard.

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  29. It was not simply "thuggish" behavior on Martin's part that explains his conduct -- there was a very specific set of circumstances that preceded that conduct (not to mention other broader cultural and familial factors that possibly added fuel to the fire).

    Given what we know about the circumstances that preceded the conduct, only "thuggish behavior" accounts for Martin's response, regardless of where he learned it.

    Some people seem to want to confuse "Martin caused his own death" and "He deserved what he got for being a thug."

    None of us who think Martin caused his own death would support execution as penalty for his crimes of that night had the fight ended without further injury before the shooting.

    However, there is a difference between "You got what you deserved for your thuggish behavior" and "That's what you get for your thuggish behavior." That distinction seems obvious enough but for some it is resisted.

    Consider the young lady whose home was invaded by the teens not long before the Martin incident. If she had a gun, nobody would begrudge her the right to shoot them dead in her home even if we later found video showing them discussing only going into the home, unarmed aside from skittles and iced tea, to steal a computer, and learned they were 15.

    If she shot them under those circumstances, it would be perfectly fair to say "That's what they get" for thuggish behavior, and she would not be morally responsible for their deaths.

    Why? Because she had no way of knowing what they would do, and sane people do not believe one should be required to "wait and see" what an invader or attacker might do before acting.

    In Zimmerman's case, he had no way of predicting the outcome or duration of the beating he was taking, which justified his use of deadly force, regardless of whether Martin intended to kill him or stop after one more, mild blow.

    Without the benefit of a hindsight which gives Zimmerman a magical ability to predict what would happen before leaving his truck, it is impossible to find any wrongdoing on Zimmerman's part at all that night, that either justified the beating he took from Martin or his being forced to stand trial for the shooting. It is impossible to determine that Martin did not cause his own death.



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    Replies
    1. Well, anon @ 9:53,

      "Without the benefit of a hindsight which gives Zimmerman a magical ability to predict
      what would happen.....it is impossible to find any wrongdoing on Zimmerman's part at all that night."

      Yep. It is impossible to find anything wrong with an armed guy detouring from a family errand to tail, by car and on foot, a guy he he had alerted the real police to because he had decided the guy was walking about in a suscpicious manner. This is a guy who lives in a complex with 250 other households all of whom he would either recognize in the dark or would otherwise walk with a sense of purpose and keep their eyes straight in front so as not to draw suspicion?

      You say, of course no wrongdoing that justified the "beating he took from Martin, or being forced to stand trial." To make that leap you have to assume the beating started in exactly the self serving manner in which he alone could describe its beginning. Then you have to assume no one who ever gets punched in a fight in which they are the only one who is both armed and survives to tell an unwitnessed tale should ever be charged and/or tried.

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    2. He was a neighborhood watchman. They watch their neighborhoods.

      As for the beginning of the fight, the Zimmerman call timeline, the Jeantel phone timeline, the location of the start of the fight, and finally those long 4 minutes Martin had to find something else to do, make any speculation that Martin did not start the fight a stretch.

      The absence of strong likelihood the deceased doubled back to attack the shooter, eyewitness accounts of the struggle, a relieved shooter upon hearing the bluff that there might be video, and a screaming, injured shooter, would leave room for greater speculation in a different incident involving an armed survivor. But all of those things are present in this case.

      There is no getting around the fact that one must INVENT facts that are not only not supported by any evidence but undermined by all that is available, to conclude Zimmerman committed any wrongdoing that night, legal or moral.

      Delete
    3. "Yep. It is impossible to find anything wrong with an armed guy detouring from a family errand to tail, by car and on foot,"

      Actually the first following was done by Martin who followed Zimmerman's car after Zimmerman had spotted him standing in a yard in the rain. Zimmerman drove past him and pulled into the clubhouse lot to call non-emergency. Martin followed the car and then passed it. At that point the dispatcher asked for information about Martin's direction and Zimmerman backed out and drove a short distance and pulled over. Martin was standing in front of another house and then approached Zimmerman's car once again and circled it before going off again. Zimmerman thought he was long gone. During all this time, Martin was the initial follower after the two first saw each other, and the initial aggressor approaching and circling Zimmerman after Zimmerman stopped his truck.

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    4. However, there is a difference between "You got what you deserved for your thuggish behavior" and "That's what you get for your thuggish behavior." That distinction seems obvious enough but for some it is resisted.

      I consider myself fluent in English, as it's my native language. And I'm afraid I can't make out any difference in this distinction. Perhaps the delicate nature of this supposed distinction is obscured by the resounding sound of narrative in the phrase "thuggish behavior." And to my ears, a certain smugness in the satisfaction that a thug got his deserts, a death that he caused himself, which has the added benefit of relieving the killer of any responsibility. No responsibility would sit on Zimmerman's shoulders anyway, absent a "magical ability to predict" the future. But the law doesn't require prescience; the law wants to know who started the fight.

      Chiming in to support this view we have an Anonymous who thinks that a reconstructed timeline, eyewitness accounts of the fight in progress, the killer's reaction to a police bluff, and the sounds of someone screaming during a fight tells us the crucial missing datum -- who started the fight.

      (Actually, there was only one eyewitness account, a witness who couldn't even testify whether any blows landed. Would it be so hard to get things like this straight?)

      Certainly one must invent (or INVENT, if you will) facts to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman committed any wrongdoing. Just as one must invent facts to conclude that Zimmerman didn't commit any wrongdoing, the same inventions, by the way, necessary to conclude that Martin was a thug.

      At some point, we can be sure that they stood face-to-face in the dark, each standing safely on legal ground. Following someone in a public place isn't illegal, even confronting them isn't illegal, absent a threat. And then things tilted into tragedy. Did one provoke the other? Did one or both feel mistakenly but reasonably provoked? The law asks for a logic unattainable in a possible confrontation between two surprised people, scared and amped on adrenaline, ready to think the worst of each other.

      Teenage thug and the victim of both a physical attack and the grinding of an unjust judicial system. Innocent Skittles buyer and the racist stalker. Or variations on those themes. They're all narratives, and they all require inventions to make them tick.

      It's reasonable to conclude that Martin bears some responsibility for not avoiding Zimmerman. But Zimmerman was the adult, and he chose to arm himself without the training to safely defuse a confrontation, without planning for a surprise that would narrow his choices so drastically.

      Delete
    5. I accidentally posted this as a new comment below, but it was meant as a reply to the above, so I'm double posting, with an additional comment added at the end:

      "Given what we know about the circumstances that preceded the conduct, only 'thuggish behavior' accounts for Martin's response,"

      I think you're being dishonest if you think that 1) Martin's attack was nothing more than "thuggish behavior," and 2) the "cause" of Martin's death was 100% himself, and 0% anything or anyone else. I've already explained further up in the comments section why #2 is bullshit. Regarding #1, all you have to do is contrast TRULY thuggish behavior (like the "knock out" game, or wholly unprovoked attacks, or robberies) with the specific nature of Martin's attack in all of its detail, including but not limited to: nighttime, walking home alone, unfamiliar man in unmarked car pursues him by car then on foot, no explanation, "predator" reaches for "phone," etc.

      "[Z] had no way of predicting the outcome or duration of the beating he was taking, which justified his use of deadly force" -- I've never argued otherwise. I think both Z and M made some stupid moves, but both were justified in what they did (Z more than M), given their false (but reasonable) assumptions about each other.

      I think your account of how Martin followed Z first is dishonest too. Martin wouldn't have gotten pissed off at Z for just driving by him, then parking in a parking lot like some normal person who was just headed to the clubhouse. Z obviously did SOMETHING (slowed down and shined his headlights on him?) that alerted M to the fact that Z was watching him and then parked in order to watch him some more. And I'm pretty sure you're getting your facts mixed up when you claim Martin circled his car a second time. That's what Z says in his reenactment, but his call to the dispatcher seems to contradict it. And Z did NOT think M was long gone. Towards the end of his call, he refuses to give out his complete address because, "crap, I don't want to give it out loud; I don't know where this kid is." Lastly, I get the distinction you're making between "caused his own death" and "got what he deserved." If someone is texting as they walk down the street and they fall into a manhole and die, they caused their death but no one in their right mind would say that texting while walking down a street is deserving of death. But even given the distinction, for reasons I stated above, I still disagree that the blame for Martin's death is 100% Martin, 0% Zimmerman, and 0% the "perfect storm" of false (but reasonable) assumptions on both their parts and circumstances.

      Delete
  30. "Given what we know about the circumstances that preceded the conduct, only 'thuggish behavior' accounts for Martin's response,"

    I think you're being dishonest if you think that 1) Martin's attack was nothing more than "thuggish behavior," and 2) the "cause" of Martin's death was 100% himself, and 0% anything or anyone else. I've already explained further up in the comments section why #2 is bullshit. Regarding #1, all you have to do is contrast TRULY thuggish behavior (like the "knock out" game, or wholly unprovoked attacks, or robberies) with the specific nature of Martin's attack in ALL of its detail, including but not limited to: nighttime, walking home alone, unfamiliar man in unmarked car pursues him by car then on foot, no explanation, "predator" reaches for "phone," etc.

    "[Z] had no way of predicting the outcome or duration of the beating he was taking, which justified his use of deadly force" -- I've never argued otherwise. I think both Z and M made some stupid moves, but both were justified in what they did (Z more than M), given their false (but reasonable) assumptions about each other.

    I think your account of how Martin followed first is dishonest too. Martin wouldn't have gotten pissed off at Z for just driving by him, then parking in a parking lot like some normal person who was just headed to the clubhouse. Z obviously did SOMETHING (slowed down and shined his headlights on him?) that alerted M to the fact that Z was watching him and then parked in order to watch him some more. And I'm pretty sure you're getting your facts mixed up when you claim Martin circled his car a second time. That's what Z says in his reenactment, but his call to the dispatcher seems to contradict it. And Z did NOT think M was long gone. Towards the end of his call, he refuses to give out his complete address because, "crap, I don't want to give it out loud; I don't know where this kid is."

    ReplyDelete
  31. The thread is dead, baby; the thread is dead.

    ReplyDelete
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