Author Topic: Thoughts on Week One of Trial  (Read 18928 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jjr495

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #45 on: June 29, 2013, 02:17:02 PM »
Who helped the defense the most?
John Good. Without question. He established that GZ was being severely beaten and was most probably the person screaming for help shortly before the gunshot. I expect that his testimony will seal GZ's acquittal.

Did anyone hurt the defense? Who helped the state?
GZ. His voice on the NEN call establishes that he followed TM with a deadly weapon even after GZ knows that TM ran because he was being watched. Thus GZ created a situation that he should have known might end badly. The jurors are not going to like this, especially with the enormous emotional weight of seeing TM's body and the grieving Martin family.
My opinion, at this point, is that this case should have gone straight to civil litigation.

What do you think of Judge Nelson's rulings and demeanor?
Nelson enforces proper courtroom decorum. I like that. West was properly admonished for his raised voice with RJ. There have only been a few questions by lawyers that they knew were improper, such as at the very end of Friday.
On any close call Nelson almost always sides with the State. I don't like that. I would be floored if she were to order a directed verdict.

How do you think the lawyers did?
Very good. The State is playing their weak hand about as well as they can during trial, but I do think they were unethical pre-trial and ineffective during jury selection. The defense has done very well on cross. The Noffke and Dorival crosses were big bonuses for the defense. Ms. Manalo's cross was handled well, and after Good testified, it seems to me well established that TM was on top throwing the blows when she caught a glimpse of the fighting.

Did either side make any major gaffes?
No, but West's opening joke was close. Guy's statement about the gun being pushed into TM's chest may prove to be a big gaffe. I doubt the jury will like it that a very important fact to have been incorrect or imprecisely stated in the opening.

Were there any areas you expected to be covered during a witness' testimony that weren't?
I was very surprised that we didn't hear more testimony about the 400 minutes of calls and texts between RJ and TM on the day of the homicide. The defense had stated pre-trial that those calls were the possible basis for TM's anger.

Did any witnesses contradict other witnesses or their own prior statements?
Actually the lack of contradiction between eye and ear witnesses is surprising. It is now well established that a verbal conflict erupted near the T, became physical, and then moved south to the final position of TM's body. Multiple people saw flailing or punching arm motions. John Good and the pictures of GZ's injuries cements who was doing the punching.
 
Was it a mistake to call Rachel Jeantel?
What choice did they have after the Frye ruling? "Get off, Get off" is about all they have to hold onto at this point.

Do you have any questions about this week's proceedings?  Post them here and hopefully another commenter will answer.
This is a small matter, but I would find it frustrating to be on the jury and not be allowed to review my notes at the end of each day. Without this kind of review, much of the info will not make it into long term memory. Unless they are very good at taking extensive notes, many of the notes the jurors have taken will not be very helpful. Can the jurors at least write down their thoughts in their hotel room at night? If not, are they not supposed to review the daily proceeding in their minds?

Offline annoyedbeyond

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1407
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #46 on: June 29, 2013, 02:17:58 PM »
Because anyone who goes out at night with TWO flashlights obviously has murder in his heart. I hate to imagine what officer Smith was really up to, with a flashlight on his gun and a separate flashlight.

Yeah. Most people don't even have one flashlight with them, or if they have one it's a little keychain one. Obviously having two transforms a mild mannered George Zimmerman into RAMBO!


Offline redstripe

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #47 on: June 29, 2013, 02:20:08 PM »
I can see the defense POV of emphasizing how dark and rainy it was (GZ could not see TM at the T but with GZ's keychain flashlight on TM could see GZ, hence TM confronted GZ) but why is the State doing it?

It seems like a bizarre move on their part.  Maybe they think it helps portray GZ as a wannabe cop who was over-equipped and overeager to engage.  The obvious problem with this trope is that (surprise surprise) one of the flashlights went out, so having an extra one on him was, after all, a very sane and reasonable thing to do.

Offline annoyedbeyond

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1407
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #48 on: June 29, 2013, 02:23:56 PM »

What do you think of Judge Nelson's rulings and demeanor?
Nelson enforces proper courtroom decorum. I like that. West was properly admonished for his raised voice with RJ. There have only been a few questions by lawyers that they knew were improper, such as at the very end of Friday.
On any close call Nelson almost always sides with the State. I don't like that. I would be floored if she were to order a directed verdict.


Really?

Because I see Bernie bellowing and dancing and talking over witnesses and never getting spoken to about it. I see the prosecution getting every side bar they want while the defense never gets a side bar.

I don't think Nelson is enforcing anything but the political hackery of charging GZ.

BTW what was improper at the end of the day on Friday?

Quote
GZ. His voice on the NEN call establishes that he followed TM with a deadly weapon even after GZ knows that TM ran because he was being watched. Thus GZ created a situation that he should have known might end badly. The jurors are not going to like this, especially with the enormous emotional weight of seeing TM's body and the grieving Martin family.

So apparently carrying a concealed (or unconcealed) weapon precludes a person from doing a lot of things in your view?

I have friends with the same view, one of them has been through Ayoob's Lethal Force training, he firmly believes GZ is guilty just because he was carrying a gun and didn't just vacate the premises (I know that's not exactly what you said).

Offline nomatter_nevermind

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5449
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #49 on: June 29, 2013, 02:37:57 PM »
SPD had no need to review the victim's phone . . .

They tried anyway.

I probably didn't understand why the phone was "locked".

Do you think a fact does not become a fact until you understand it?

16-17/184

Offline MJW

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1304
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #50 on: June 29, 2013, 02:38:28 PM »
Who helped the defense the most?
John Good. Without question. He established that GZ was being severely beaten and was most probably the person screaming for help shortly before the gunshot. I expect that his testimony will seal GZ's acquittal.

Officer Smith helped a lot too, by quoting GZ's statement that he was screaming for help. He even improved that by commenting on GZ's demeanor, that he seemed confused no one came to his aid.

Quote
Did anyone hurt the defense? Who helped the state?
GZ. His voice on the NEN call establishes that he followed TM with a deadly weapon even after GZ knows that TM ran because he was being watched. Thus GZ created a situation that he should have known might end badly. The jurors are not going to like this, especially with the enormous emotional weight of seeing TM's body and the grieving Martin family.

I think the bolded comment is silly. I see no reason to believe having the gun on him that he normally carried influenced his actions. And I believe he thought TM was heading for the hills, so he had no expectation there'd be a confrontation.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 02:42:34 PM by MJW »

Offline redstripe

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #51 on: June 29, 2013, 02:39:28 PM »
Who helped the defense the most?


Did anyone hurt the defense? Who helped the state?
GZ. His voice on the NEN call establishes that he followed TM with a deadly weapon even after GZ knows that TM ran because he was being watched. Thus GZ created a situation that he should have known might end badly. The jurors are not going to like this, especially with the enormous emotional weight of seeing TM's body and the grieving Martin family.
My opinion, at this point, is that this case should have gone straight to civil litigation.


These are my thoughts as well.  I think there's a strong argument that GZ's actions were negligent (although probably not criminally negligent) and there probably should have been some sort of settlement off the bat where the Martin family received some compensation and George got to hold onto his reputation and his anonymity. 

In my opinion, overcharging the way the prosecution did in the hope (ostensibly) that GZ would plead out to manslaughter is a tactic  that doesn't translate well in the courtroom.  An overreaching and unconvincing second degree murder argument only bolsters, by contrast, GZ's self-defense argument which acts as a complete defense to all homicide charges.  So the state may have sandbagged their chances of convicting him of anything while at the same time increasing the probability that he'll get immunity from civil litigation.

Offline RickyJim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1580
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #52 on: June 29, 2013, 02:47:50 PM »
I can see the defense POV of emphasizing how dark and rainy it was (GZ could not see TM at the T but with GZ's keychain flashlight on TM could see GZ, hence TM confronted GZ) but why is the State doing it?
In any case he wouldn't be able to identify GZ unless he were really close to him.  There could have been other people out that night in the rain, walking their dog or going home from a neighbor.  I am in the minority of those who think that the meeting of GZ and TM at the T might have been by happenstance.  Trayvon was enjoying gabbing on the phone outside and Rachel is FOS.  Someone in agreement.  Dave is also live blogging from the courtoom.

Offline cashmere

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2013, 02:59:53 PM »
I am fascinated by this case and really appreciate TL for providing this great forum to follow.  I have seen some of the trial this week, but not even close to all.  This morning I went back to watch the first few witnesses following the opening statements (only got through Chad and the start of the former 7-11 employee).  A few thoughts re: Chad.  I believe I have heard that the state is presenting their case in chronological order, explaining why Chad was called first.  I found Chad to be very "likable" and as a now 15-year-old young man, fairly close in age to Trayvon when he died, highly appealing in terms of garnering sympathy for Trayvon..  to the jury.  I think it was smart for the prosecution to start with Chad as a witness.  Just a thought to throw out re: case strategy.

I have many other thoughts about the trial, and, from what I have seen thus far, I still think the prosecution does not have much of a case.

Offline redstripe

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2013, 03:00:57 PM »
  I am in the minority of those who think that the meeting of GZ and TM at the T might have been by happenstance. 

(warning: speculation)
I see this as a viable theory as well.  More precisely, I think it's less likely that TM was lying in wait for GZ and more likely that TM started toward his house and then, sometime around the first time he lost contact with RJ, he decided to pace around the general area and get himself worked up for a confrontation should he and GZ cross paths.  It seems like the idea of TM pumping himself up for a fight fits with GZ's account of TM first barking a challenge at him "why you following me?" and then quickly escalating things when GZ responded to him.

Offline RickyJim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1580
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #55 on: June 29, 2013, 03:12:06 PM »
They tried anyway.

Do you think a fact does not become a fact until you understand it?

16-17/184
Apparently from that information, they could download the stuff on the memory chip but not on the SIM card unless they obtained the "swipe code".  But where is the number of the last contact stored?  It will be interesting to find out if Tracey even knew the pin number, to be used too bypass the swipe code, on 3/5/12.  My recollection is that Crump denied Tracy called him about it.

Offline RickyJim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1580
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #56 on: June 29, 2013, 03:22:42 PM »
Was it a mistake to call Rachel Jeantel?
What choice did they have after the Frye ruling? "Get off, Get off" is about all they have to hold onto at this point.
I don't think that is as important a claim as the one that GZ moved towards TM and the latter turned around and asked "Why are you following me for".  She should have been asked exactly what TM said to indicate GZ was moving closer to TM rather than the other way around.  The claim that she knows that TM turned around to say something to GZ is, to me, obviously a lie.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 03:26:25 PM by RickyJim »

Offline redstripe

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2013, 04:01:13 PM »
Did either side make any major gaffes?

Bernie's failed 'gotcha' moment on JL, although it wasn't seen by the jury, was symbolic of the prosecution's general difficulty with witnesses this week.  In my opinion, the prosecution is letting their animosity toward GZ and the defense cloud their judgment.  While some of their attempts at sabotage, like constantly cutting West off to derail his train of thought, were effective, going to such great lengths, including blowing up their own witnesses, just to rob GZ of any boost in favorability seemed to come at the cost of their own opportunity to build a case against him. 

For example, from what I've gleaned so far, their story is that GZ, with a depraved anger and indifference to human life because the 'punks' were always getting away, profiled and pursued TM and that TM's attempts to stop him by fighting back only amplified GZ's murderous impulses.  Why, then, did they latch onto JM's statements in an attempt to depict GZ as being suspiciously calm and casual? A cold-blooded killer may be surprisingly flippant about murdering someone, but even a complete sociopath is very likely to get upset about having his nose smashed in the manner that GZ's was depicted in the exhibits.  The jury was likely pretty incredulous at the idea that GZ was overly calm with blood streaming down both the front and back of his head, regardless of what they thought about his attitude toward the death of TM; the defense also (1) contradicted their earlier depiction of GZ's state of mind when talking to the NEN dispatcher and (2) lost a chance to build on the more believable narrative that the blows to his face didn't cause GZ to fear for his life but instead enraged him further and magnified his bloodlust (for lack of a better word).
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 04:12:02 PM by redstripe »

Offline jjr495

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #58 on: June 29, 2013, 04:11:29 PM »
I see no reason to believe having the gun on him that he normally carried influenced his actions.
That is the problem. I believe walking around with a deadly weapon should require someone to exercise more caution. Many legal actions we take increase our exposure to civil liability. In my opinion, if it has to be legal, carrying a gun should be one of them. Not being a lawyer, I am not familiar enough with torts to say that it is.  I am fairly certain that we will have to agree to disagree on this topic.  "Silly" implies that you think my opinion is irrational. I have made plenty of silly statements on this site, but that wasn't one of them.
Quote
And I believe he thought TM was heading for the hills, so he had no expectation there'd be a confrontation.
No expectation? Someone he thought was "on something" and "up to no good" is supposed to then act rationally? Why then did GZ refuse to give his address?

Offline nomatter_nevermind

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5449
  • Rate Post +0/-0
Re: Thoughts on Week One of Trial
« Reply #59 on: June 29, 2013, 04:29:24 PM »
Where's NM? He's probably got the whole thing broken down.

I'm actually not very savvy about cell phones. Did you ever determine if the remote lock is possible?

As I mentioned up-thread, the early SPD reports on the phone are on 16-17/184.

Serino met with Tracy about 9:20 AM on 2/27 (39/184). His report doesn't say how long that meeting lasted, but by the time it was over Tracy knew that Trayvon was dead, his body was at the morgue, and his effects had been taken into evidence by SPD.

Putting those 3 pages together gives us this timeline:

2/26 :: Sgt. Santiago summoned Agent Shor of CCIB (whatever that is) to bring a Cellebrite device (misspelled in the report) to the shooting scene. The device could not be used because the phone had lost power.

2/27, 9:20 AM :: Serino met with Tracy.

2/28 :: SA (State Attorney?) Carter advised Santiago that a warrant wasn't needed. CST Smith took the phone to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

3/1 :: Sheriff's Office advised Santiago that without the password they couldn't do anything but download what was on the memory chip.

I'll stop there, since this is what we're interested in. The Sheriff's Office found the phone to be locked, on 2/28 at the earliest, 3/1 at the latest. There was a window, of at least half a day, possibly 3 days, during which Tracy could have locked the phone remotely if that is possible.

But haven't we seen the call records for that time period? I recall a discussion about police calling 911 from the phone, which can be done even if the phone is locked. If a call from Tracy connected during this period, I think we would have known about it.

 

Site Meter
click
tracking