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The State of Florida vs George Zimmerman: The Trial

 
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 07:44 am
I am watching the trial now, I see the defense as doing nothing constructive other than just harassing the witness without adding anything new.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 07:53 am
@revelette,
I'm watching it too.

I don't think the defense knows how to handle her.

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 08:53 am
@revelette,
revelette wrote:
I am watching the trial now, I see the defense as doing nothing constructive other than just harassing the witness without adding anything new.

Good! That means the defender is doing his job. His job, mind you, isn't to be constructive. It's to be destructive of anything that might incriminate the defendant. This witness's testimony is one of the things that might harm him. Consequently, the defense is trying to get the witness caught up in contradictions, destroy her credibility with the jury, and thereby get the defendant of the hook.

This is not a failing on the defender's part, it's just how America runs its trials. It's called the adversarial system. If you don't like it, you'll need to install a European-style inquisitorial system in its place. Good luck with that.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 09:04 am
@revelette,
revelette wrote:
I think despite her obvious reluctance to be involved, her words to have a ring of truth to them because she is not censoring her words to be helpful to the prosecution

She's not censoring her words? That's not the impression I got. There was a passage in Jeantel's testimony where Trayvon Martin refers to his pursuer as a "nigga". The prosecutor follows up: "Excuse my language, but did Trayvon Martin use the word 'nigga'?". Jeantel says "yes" and explains: "it's slang." But there is a problem with the mike, so the prosecutor asks her to say the same thing again. Now she refers to the pursuer as "a man". No more mention of "nigga". So yes, Jeantel does censor her language when uncensored language leads to uncomfortable follow-ups.

And that, I expect, will be exactly the defense's talking point: Rachel Jeantel isn't credible as a witness because she lies and changes her stories to get herself out of uncomfortable situations. Maybe she's not a compulsive liar, but she leaves us with reasonable doubts about her testimony. And on the bottom line, reasonable doubt is all it takes to exculpate Zimmerman.
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 09:21 am
@Thomas,
Maybe you are right, however, you have to remember that jurors are regular people and they might to start to feel that the defense is just harassing to no purpose.

Yes, she did come off as lying in certain situations, however, on the main conversations she had with Trayvon on the night he died, they come off as authentic.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 09:38 am
@Thomas,
I think you're confusing Trayvon's words with her words. She's only referred to Zimmerman as "the man".

This young woman appears to have cognitive limitations, she may not use language very precisely, which would account for some minor discrepancies. But she's sticking to what she remembers hearing that night, and I find her credible on that.

She has no motive to lie about her conversation with Martin, she didn't want to get involved in any of this, she got dragged into it.

The defense will try to portray her as inconsistent and not credible--they have no other choice.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 09:54 am
@firefly,
firefly wrote:
I think you're confusing Trayvon's words with her words. She's only referred to Zimmerman as "the man".

I think I'm not. I am consistently referring to Jeantel's words as she reports Martin's words. In her first version, Martin said "nigga". In her second version maybe three minutes later, after the prosecution's follow-up question and the microphone snafu, Martin said "man".
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 11:09 am
@Thomas,
I had to go out so I missed the last 2 hours or so, and I have to go back out in a little while. After I catch up with her testimony, I'll think about what you're pointing out.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 11:16 am
@firefly,
Just to make sure you're not looking in the wrong place: The exchange I'm thinking about happened yesterday afternoon, not today. And it happened during the prosecution's examination, not the defense's cross-examination. I wish I could give you a more precise time, but I can't.
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 11:30 am
In the end I think she is coming off as authentic if not articulate and if what she says matches up with the rest of the evidence, then they might have a chance of pulling off a second degree murder charge. If not, then I guess they won't. Least that is kind of what I heard just now on a discussion on HLN.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 11:38 am
http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/zimmerman-update-exclusive-mid-day-4-west-cross-examination-of-rachel-jeantel//#more

Som of you guys might want to read this, it sounds like the persecution's case just totally imploded and blew up in their faces.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 11:41 am
@gungasnake,
Hey, gunga, when does one person's opinion override what the jury will do?

gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 11:51 am
Discussion on FR:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3036274/posts?page=13
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 11:53 am
@cicerone imposter,
You might want to read some of that stuff at the link I posted. I mean, aside from everything else, "Deedee" has admitted that she didn't even write the letter mentioned in her statement yesterday, West had to read it for her.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 11:57 am
@gungasnake,
Reading one article during a trial doesn't provide the necessary information for the jury to determine innocence or guilt - especially if she didn't write it.

That's third party opinion. Why it was allowed is the bigger question.
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 11:59 am
@cicerone imposter,
Seems likely the persecution provided the letter for her. They should check for handwriting.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 12:01 pm
@gungasnake,
gunga, It's not the "persecution," it's the prosecuting attorney.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 12:05 pm
@gungasnake,
"Discussion"
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 12:10 pm
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:
it sounds like the persecution's case just totally imploded and blew up in their faces.

You keep looking for the "Perry Mason" moment, but those don't really occur all that often in trials.

OJ Simpson did receive a wonderful gift when the prosecution asked him to try on the glove, but that kind of gift hasn't happened in this trial, yet.
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jun, 2013 12:49 pm
Quote:
Love her or hate her, Rachel Jeantel is a star

There is no middle-of-the-road opinion on Rachel Jeantel, the “friend, not-girlfriend” of Trayvon Martin who testified in the George Zimmerman trial Wednesday and Thursday. Some people see a surly, unreliable witness who’s been caught telling several whoppers over the last year. Others see your average working class teenage girl, trying her best to stay composed while re-telling the story of the death of her close friend under the most grueling of circumstances.

Which one did you see? It probably has a lot to do with what demographic boxes you check to identify yourself.

Since Zimmerman was arrested, legal analysts have predicted that Martin’s “girlfriend,” who was talking to him on the phone when he encountered Zimmerman last February, would be a crucial witness for both sides. For the prosecution, Jeantel establishes Martin as a scared teen who was trying to run away from a stranger (Zimmerman) on his way back home. For the defense, pointing out the various versions of events Jeantel gave in interviews with the press, Benjamin Crump, and the police would be essential to poking holes in the prosecution story that started off strong on day one.

But that’s just strategy. The real impact of Jeantel is how a jury -- made up mostly of white women and mothers whose only knowledge of Martin comes from his friends and family -- would view this young girl.

The moment Jeantel sat down on the witness stand and started talking, my Twitter account and the #Zimmerman timeline exploded with comments:

“Her story has been inconsistent. I don’t think the state should have called her, she’ll never survive cross. Just seems mean.”

“She is a horrible witness. The repetitive nature of her testimony is uggg.”

“I would be pissed if my daughter/son talked & behaved this way while testifying”

“Rachel Jeantel is being made fun of and slandered on Twitter because of her looks and the way she talks.”

These were comments that exploded in the Twitterverse mere minutes into Jeantel’s testimony. Why? Part of it is because she is a dark-skinned, plus-sized girl from a low-income neighborhood who doesn’t speak the King’s English. With that profile, some viewers automatically see her as non-credible and uneducated, and every frustrated or irritable word coming out of her mouth reinforced the stereotypes of black teens that all too many Americans (of all colors) believe in.

This is key because most of Jeantel’s criticism was expressed long before cross examination, when the holes in her story were exposed. This doesn’t mean that any juror or viewer who found Jeantel problematic is necessarily prejudiced or pro-Zimmerman. However, the swiftness with which she was viewed as a good or bad witness by some had more to do with how she looked than what she actually said.

On the other side, an almost equal number of people -- mostly parents, young people, minorities, and those who work with young people -- found Jeantel to be a normal girl in abnormal circumstances. A single friend of mine in her 30s watching the trial in Washington D.C. said to me: “Imagine if you had to get on the witness stand and talk about how the boy you had a crush on was shot and killed right after you got off the phone with him. You’d be upset and nervous too.”

If you work with teenagers or are raising them, you might have found Jeantel more sympathetic than abrasive. If you don’t watch much news, maybe you chuckled and identified with the high school senior when she assumed all criminal investigations looked like “The First 48” on A&E. What some people viewed as sketchy behavior, others saw as authenticity.

Ultimately, after a cross examination that was sometimes tense, sometimes hostile, and definitely riveting, we are left to determine whether or not Jeantel swayed the case for the prosecution or the defense. That depends less on what came out of her mouth than how the jury saw her before she opened it.

If they saw a 19-year-old woman who was hostile, irritable, and a walking-talking racial stereotype, it probably hurt the prosecution and painted a poor picture of Martin. If they saw a senior in high school who was nervous, sincere, and obviously still in mourning, it likely hurt the defense’s narrative.

More than any other witness so far, I think the public will be split on Jeantel. No one is going to be swayed from their first impression no matter what she does, and that’s never a good thing, no matter what side of this case you’re arguing.


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