Friday, August 10, 2012

Trayvon Martin Trial- There Will Be A 'Stand Your Ground' Hearing

I note with interest that there is a new development in the Trayvon Martin case.In spite of the prosecution's insistence that it would never happen, there will be a 'Stand Your Ground' hearing to determine whether George Zimmerman was defending himself legally under Florida law.

In order for Zimmerman to prevail,he will have to prove the following:

•He was in a place where he was lawfully entitled to be.

•He was not violating the law.

•He was attacked.

•He had a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm.

The first two are a given. As for the last two, we have only Zimmerman's word for it, but the evidence, including his injuries, seems to back up his account of what happened.That's why he wasn't arrested by the police, until race pimps like Al Sharpton got involved and threatened civil unrest.

But this is a hearing, not a trial, and George Zimmerman will have to convince a judge he acted in self-defense.His story, as recounted many times is that he saw Martin, a beefy football player who was actually larger and stronger than Zimmerman prowling around the gated community where Zimmerman lives and where there had been a number of break ins. Zimmerman was acting as a neighborhood watch volunteer.

Zimmerman claims Martin attacked him, knocked him down with a single punch, then got on top of him and began punching him and banging his head into the sidewalk. And he says Trayvon Martin said he was 'going to die tonight', covered his nose and mouth and began reaching for Zimmerman's 9 mm handgun Zimmerman has holstered.

If Zimmerman convinces the judge and wins, the murder two charge is gone as well as any civil liability, although Seminole County might appeal and the Obama Justice Department will likely still charge him with violating Trayvon Martin's civil rights.Just because:

Central Florida lawyers predicted that, based on the evidence released so far by prosecutors, Zimmerman has a strong chance of winning.

"He's assaulted, and he claims he's on the ground, fighting for his life. I don't see how a judge does not grant that motion," said Robert Buonauro, an Orlando defense lawyer who has been through three "stand your ground" hearings, one that cleared his client.

"He was in a place where he had a right to be. He wasn't violating any laws. He was attacked. There's no other witness to contradict his testimony," Buonauro said.

That last point — that no other witness saw the entire encounter — is key, according to experts. An Orlando Sentinel review of Central Florida "stand your ground" cases found that suspects were far more likely to be exonerated if they were the lone surviving witness.

Prosecution Investigator Dale Gilbreath testified at a bond hearing April 20 that prosecutors had no evidence — other than Zimmerman's statement — about who struck the first blow Feb. 26, the night Zimmerman and Trayvon got into a fight and wound up in a wrestling match on the ground that ended with the teenager shot in the heart.

"I think we all understand that you don't win without putting your client on the stand," said Orlando defense attorney Diana Tennis. "It all looks pretty darned good for him, but he is going to make or break that hearing."

There's no telling how it will go, but my prediction is that Judge Lester will rule against George Zimmerman, strictly because of the politics. And because he can, and it's easier.

Remember, Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara already requested that Judge Lester recuse himself for cause, and Judge Lester refused.O'Mara is still deciding whether to appeal that.

And there's the fracas over the fact that Zimmerman and his wife, who are unable to work because of physical threats actually used some money they raised on their website to pay bills an didn't reveal it as assets.

Finally,it's important to remember that this is a high profile case, with a prominent Seminole County DA, Angela Corey as lead prosecutor.

Aside from the fact Judge Lester has his personal reasons to rule against Zimmerman in the hearing, he's also a part of the county's legal machine.

I'd be very surprised if he ruled in Zimmerman's favor.

The hearing won't take place for quite a while, and regardless of how it goes, there's probably going to be an appeal.


Anonymous said...

An Orlando Sentinel review of Central Florida "stand your ground" cases found that suspects were far more likely to be exonerated if they were the lone surviving witness.

Awesome. If I ever want to shoot up a kindergarten in Florida, now I know how to get away with it. Just gotta remember to bring enough bullets. Thanks, Republicans!

Rob said...

I love it when people with your mentality reveal their stupidity in public.

It's the equivalent of some blowhard in mid-tirade crapping their pants.

Of course, that's why you line being 'Anonymous'.

Zachriel said...

•Martin was in a place where he was lawfully entitled to be.

•Martin was not violating the law.

•Martin was reasonably threatened trying to return home by someone with a gun.

•Martin had a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm.

You're right! Trayvon Martin had a right to stand his ground, and legally pass on his way home, when he was accosted.

(By the way, we posted another comment on the CNN Poll thread, but it never appeared.)

Rob said...

Zachriel, you obviously have limited knowledge about this case..

Trayvon Martin was present in gated community where he did not live and could only have entered illegally by jumping the fence or the gates. At the very least, he was violating the law by trespassing on private property.He was NOT in a place he had a legal right to be, anymore than you would have a right to be in my fenced and gated front yard unless I invited you in.

You have no evidence that Martin was 'reasonably threatened with a gun.' I have no idea what orifice you plucked that from. If Zimmerman's version is correct ( and his injuries seem to bear it out) not only did Martin attack him, but his gun was still holstered, until Martin attempted to take it from him.

You trying to convince me that Zimmerman simply shot Martin down and then banged his own head on the cement? Or that an unarmed Martin saw Zimmerman pointing a gun at him and decided to try his luck at jumping him?

What likely happened is pretty much what George Zimmerman said happened. He and Martin had a verbal confrontation, Martin knocked him to the ground, and the gun came into play while Martin on top of Zimmerman, was beating him severely and then reached for the holstered gun.

As for your comment on the other thread, you're right, I deep sixed it. It was a turgid repeat of the same points you made earlier, added nothing to the mix and I chose not to waste my reader's or my time with it.

Such is life.