11
   

State pushes to keep Trayvon Martin's past out of George Zimmerman trial

 
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 May, 2013 10:07 am
Quote:
Judge wants four alternate jurors for George Zimmerman trial
By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel
May 30, 2013

SANFORD – Six jurors will decide whether George Zimmerman is guilty of second-degree murder, but during jury selection at his trial, attorneys will pick a panel of 10, four of them alternates, according to Seminole County Clerk of Courts Maryanne Morse.

Normally at a second-degree murder trial attorneys pick six jurors and two alternates, but in this case Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson is apparently building in extra protection by adding more alternates.

They typically sit in the jury box with other jurors and listen to the evidence then are released when the others go into a closed room and begin deliberations.

But they're sometimes called to step in if a juror is unable to finish the job, for example if he gets sick or is kicked off the panel for violating one of the judge's rules, such as discussing the case with someone or surfing the Internet for news accounts of what happened.

Zimmerman's trial begins June 10 at the Seminole County criminal courthouse. He's the 29-year-old former Neighborhood Watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford.

Prosecutors say Zimmerman is guilty of profiling Trayvon, assuming he was about to commit a crime, following and murdering him.

Zimmerman says he shot the Miami Gardens teenager in self-defense.

Yesterday, Zimmerman's lawyers announced they had run out of money and made a plea via the Internet for $120,000 in donations. Today they announced that donors had already responded with $12,000 in gifts.

As for jury selection, the judge asked Morse to summon 500 potential jurors for the trial. Those jury service notices went into the mail May 1.

All 500 people will not show up the first day of jury selection, Morse said. On Day 1 it will be 100 to 200 people, she said, and each day after that about 100 new prospective jurors.

"The objective of the court is basically to spread them out over the five-day cycle," Morse said.

Potential jurors will be required to fill out a questionnaire then will be questioned individually, outside the earshot of other potential jurors.

They'll be asked about their jobs, family, experience with police and the court system and what they've heard about the case.

Morse said she hopes jury selection can be completed during the first week. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara earlier predicted it would take two to three weeks.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/os-george-zimmerman-trial-jury-selection-20130529,0,2098457.story

0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Thu 30 May, 2013 10:25 am
@revelette,
revelette wrote:

Quote:
It should be an interesting trial.


I don't normally watch a lot of live court cases, but your right, this one should be interesting on a lot of fronts.

so far this case been interesting like a car crash is interesting.....not that we needed anymore indictments of our "justice" system.
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 May, 2013 06:30 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
so far this case been interesting like a car crash is interesting.....not that we needed anymore indictments of our "justice" system.


I have no idea what this post means.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 02:22 pm
Jury selection began today. HLN cable is covering it intermittently. I've been watching some of it.

And, on their Web site, they have lots of info on the case.
http://www.hlntv.com/clusters/trayvon-martin-shooting?hpt=hln10_1

revelette
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 07:41 am
@firefly,
Thanks, I've been kinda keeping up with on the regular news channels, but I couldn't remember what channel it was people watch those trials on. I should my mother and sister in laws are both addicted to trails on TV. So far it is just about the jury selection which could take a long time if what I have seen so far is gauge.
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 07:56 am
Speaking of news coverage of the Zimmerman trial, this gave me a chuckle.

Fox News Guest Suggests Trayvon Was Armed: 'You Could Kill Somebody' With Iced Tea

Quote:
A Fox News guest on Monday suggested that George Zimmerman's lawyers will be able to argue that their client used reasonable force when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, who was only carrying Skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea, because "you could kill somebody" with iced tea.

While waiting for jury selection to begin on Monday, Fox News host Jamie Colby and former federal prosecutor Doug Burns discussed the case on the network's live Internet video stream.

"I know that George Zimmerman's attorney will prove that he has no criminal background, he's not an aggressive guy," the Fox News host explained. "That he's a gentle kind caring soul who was minding the neighborhood, the police didn't get there quick enough and he had reason to pursue, even though he was told no to. He was just doing his Good Samaritan job."

She added that there was "no suggestion that Zimmerman kept banging his head on the sidewalk, doing it to himself."

"If I'm getting beaten up in an ordinary fist fight that's going to leave me -- here's the counterargument -- with a broken nose and some cuts and certainly no life-threatening injuries," Burns pointed out. "Broken nose, we'll assume just hypothetically is not a life-threatening injury. Then so runs the argument, you can't turn around and kill the person."

"The counterargument is, 'Well, wait a minute, you can die in a fistfight,'" he continued. "There's certainly a very good argument to be made that the force used was out of proportion to what was going on, and the kid was unarmed. We didn't even discuss that. Totally different case, let's say the kid had a gun."

"Which he didn't know," Colby observed. "All that Trayvon -- we learned later -- was armed with was a bag of Skittles and an iced tea."

"I know everybody keeps sarcastically saying about he Skittles," Burns complained. "You could probably kill somebody with Skittles."

"It's very compelling," Colby opined. "Only a kid who hadn't had dental work could eat Skittles."

"I know, but I find that rhetoric, 'He had iced tea and a Skittles,' it really doesn't matter," Burns replied. "The point is he didn't have a weapon."

"But he didn't take that iced tea and bang Zimmerman over the head with the bottle," the host noted.

"The thing is, yeah, you're spinning a lot of hypotheticals," Burns agreed. "And you could break a bottle of iced tea, right, with the jagged edge, and you could kill somebody with it."

"You could use it as a weapon," Colby concluded.

revelette
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 07:30 am
Jurors selected for the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial will be sequestered

Quote:
Jurors selected for the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial will be sequestered, Judge Debra Nelson announced Thursday, during the fourth day of jury selection.

Judge Nelson also told the court attorneys have stipulated the trial will take between two and four weeks.

The combination of those two facts had some potential jurors expressing concern from the stand about how selection for the case may disrupt their lives.

"It would be a hardship. It would be a lot to juggle," said one woman, assigned the alpha-numerical identifier of K-80.

A middle-aged woman currently taking college courses wanted to know if she would still be able to submit her work or take quizzes online.

Attorneys interviewed 11 prospective jurors Thursday in Seminole County Court in Sanford, Florida. Six jurors and four alternates will ultimately be selected for the trial. Zimmerman is accused of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on the night of February 26, 2012. He claims he shot the teenager in self-defense.

Defense attorney Don West informed one would-be juror exactly what being ""sequestered" would entail. West explained jurors will stay at a hotel, have security protection outside of court and would "be limited in contact with the outside world." Basically, said West, "you would not be able to participate in day-to-day routine activities."

In addition to asking whether serving on the jury would cause any hardships, prospective jurors were also once again asked about their exposure to the case and whether they have formed an opinion on Zimmerman's guilt.

A woman designated E-81 said she believes the former neighborhood watch captain is innocent and should get to go home. "I believe he was defending himself," she told the court.

The woman also cited images found on Martin's cell phone of a handgun and of Martin smoking as evidence the teenager was "in with the wrong crowd."

After E-81 finished, HLN's Vinnie Politan observed that "with the release of the photos, the defense may have lost a good juror for their side."

George Zimmerman attended the proceedings, as did his wife Shellie and the parents of Martin, who were both dressed in black.
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 08:13 am
@Baldimo,
Baldimo wrote:
If Zimmerman's past is up for discussion then so should Martin's.

False equivalence. Trayvon Martin is not on trial. George Zimmerman is.
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 08:20 am
@Thomas,
Bullshit. Zimmerman is claiming self defense and a jury has a right to know what kind of person Trayvon Martin was and what the likelihood was of somebody who crossed his path needing to protect himself.
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 08:24 am
@revelette,
Quote:
"I know, but I find that rhetoric, 'He had iced tea and a Skittles,' it really doesn't matter," Burns replied. "The point is he didn't have a weapon."


The guy was in training as an MMA fighter. Somebody like that doesn't NEED weapons to kill other people.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 08:26 am
@revelette,
revelette wrote:
The woman also cited images found on Martin's cell phone of a handgun and of Martin smoking as evidence the teenager was "in with the wrong crowd."

Smoking? A handgun? That's it, Martin is done for. Guilty! Oh wait, I forgot: Martin is not the one on trial!

(And yes, I know you know that, Revelette. Smile )
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 08:28 am
@gungasnake,
Is there any contention that Zimmerman knew Martin in the past? If he didn't, Martin's past couldn't possibly have influenced Zimmerman's choice to kill him.
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 08:59 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
Is there any contention that Zimmerman knew Martin in the past? If he didn't, Martin's past couldn't possibly have influenced Zimmerman's choice to kill him.


The evidence indicates that being in the process of being beaten to death was the main thing which influenced Zimmerman to shoot the guy.
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 09:00 am
The thing which the jury is entitled to know is that Martin in fact was capable of beating an ordinary person to death and that his past history indicated he was likely to do something like that without any sort of a real cause.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 09:08 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:
The evidence indicates that being in the process of being beaten to death was the main thing which influenced Zimmerman to shoot the guy.

I don't know if the evidence does indeed indicate that. But even if we stipulate that it does, Trayon Martin's past is still irrelevant to deciding the case.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 09:14 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

The thing which the jury is entitled to know is that Martin in fact was capable of beating an ordinary person to death and that his past history indicated he was likely to do something like that without any sort of a real cause.

...says the man who believes that the Biblical flood is true, and was caused by all of the water on Mars being transplanted to Earth.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  0  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 10:50 am
@gungasnake,
Quote:
The evidence indicates that being in the process of being beaten to death was the main thing which influenced Zimmerman to shoot the guy.


No the physical evidence does not indicate that Zimmerman was, "in the process of being beaten to death." Zimmerman was not severely beaten--his injuries were rather minimal, and suggest only that he had sustained a blow to his nose and scraped the back of his head. And we don't know who provoked the altercation, and whether it was Martin who might have been trying to protect himself from Zimmerman. And, during the altercation, Zimmerman appears not to have defended himself in any manner other than by firing his gun. There are many unanswered questions, which are reasons this case is going to trial--to determine whether Zimmerman was legally justified in using deadly force, in self defense, in that particular situation.

And Zimmerman has given varying accounts of what influenced his decision to shoot Martin. I believe, in one version, it was because Martin saw and reached for his gun. Martin's DNA was not found on the gun.

The case will be decided only on the basis of the evidence--from both sides--that will be allowed and presented at trial. You don't yet know exactly what that evidence will be, and neither do I.

This case, because of its ambiguities, is exactly where it should be--in a courtroom, where a jury will consider the evidence presented to them and decide on a verdict. I'll decide on a verdict, in my own mind, after I hear that evidence and evaluate how persuasive it is.

I'm glad that the judge has decided to sequester the jury once the trial begins.



hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 11:03 am
@firefly,
"reached for my gun" does not equal "grabbed my gun"...using standard definitions of words, but as we have seen time and time again you use your own personal secret dictionary.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 11:44 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
"reached for my gun" does not equal "grabbed my gun"...using standard definitions of words, but as we have seen time and time again you use your own personal secret dictionary.

No, the lack of Martin's DNA on the gun means there is no physical evidence to support either "reached for my gun" or "grabbed my gun".

Nor was I quoting Zimmerman verbatim, or even attempting to do that.

That's why we have to wait for the trial--to see what evidence is actually presented, including Zimmerman's verbatim statements to the police. Then the credibility of his statements can be properly evaluated.

If you were trying to make a point, relating to this case, other than just looking for an opportunity to take a gratuitous swipe at me, I fail to see what it is. Do you think most posters here need your assistance in word comprehension?
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 11:54 am
@firefly,
If he reached for and failed to get a hold of it, that would support the lack of DNA on the gun. As you noted we will have to wait and see what comes up in court.

Don't you think you have already convicted him in your mind? You love to counter act anything said about Zimmerman which could be good and love to focus on what makes him look bad.
 

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