I believe she took this decision on herself, instead of using a GJ, because she has a long term goal of political gain. I think she took this case on to further her political career, and I think the governor gave it to her as a gift (the words of the reporter, actually). And I don't think there's anyway a GJ would have supported a charge for murder 2 - it's unclear whether they would have gone for even manslaughter.
And I think he will avoid trial by proving - by a preponderance of the evidence - that he was Standing His Ground.
And then I think the reaction will be worse than if they hadn't charged him in the first place.
But with any luck, what's really important, is that Corey will get the political mileage she is going for.
I'm confused. I thought your whole point was that the defense didn't need to tell their side of the story. That it was up to the prosecution to prove he did not act in self-defense.
So, just how do you think this will play out if it does go to trial? GZ has been charged with 2nd degree murder. We know Trayvon is dead. AFAIK, NO ONE is disputing that GZ pulled the trigger and shot him. Who is going to even going to suggest that he was acting in self-defense?
Here's another quote from Mr. Hornsby from this link/interview that explains how SYG changed the law:
HORNSBY: Well, first, I'd like to - here's the thing, the Stand Your Ground law actually modified three different statutes in Florida, and it did three different things. One, it did remove the duty to retreat whenever you're confronted with violence against you. That's the primary one that everybody talks about. The second thing it did is it implemented the pretrial hearing that we've been discussing for the last 15 minutes that allows a judge to dismiss it after hearing all the evidence.
The third thing it did, which is one thing I do think needs to be changed, is it stated that a law enforcement officer can't arrest a person unless they determine that the deadly force used was unlawful or the force used was unlawful. And that seemed to be the thing that created all the outrage in this case is that George Zimmerman was never arrested. The way it used to be is that if you killed somebody, you were arrested, period. And then you could go before the judge, you know, and assert your affirmative defense and, you know, establish why you were justified in killing somebody or committing any crime for that matter that involved violence against somebody.
At the SYG hearing, the burden is probable cause. (ETA as Jenny has pointed out elsewhere, the burden is actually "preponderance of evidence", which is lower than probable cause.)
But the same statute simply says the defense must present evidence to prove his affirmative defense (and then the burden reverts to the prosecution, as you pointed out pages ago).
How much evidence is enough? I can't find anything in the statute or model jury instructions that specifies.
Last edited by Nova; 04-14-2012 at 11:25 PM.
I've mentioned I think that has a LOT to do with why they didn't arrest him in the first place. jmoo
Last edited by Karmady; 04-14-2012 at 11:01 PM. Reason: grammar...oy!
Preponderance of the evidence is the same standard used in civil cases (like when OJ was found liable for the murders of Nicole Brown & Ron Goldman).
It looks like the SYG law is defense-friendly... But the defense will have to present some sort of evidence that Trayvon started the fight, instead of Zimmerman.
And because Zimmerman has some injuries that may have came from Trayvon, doesn't mean that Trayvon was the initial aggressor. So it will be interesting to see what the defense has up their sleeve.
If they want the case thrown out, they have got to show more that GZ has some injuries. I think GZ's only hope of getting the case thrown out, is if he testifies and a judge finds him credible.
See below. This is where the confusion lies for me.
You are correct, no defendant can be forced to testify, per the US Constitution.
Keeping in mind that opening and closing statements are not evidence and the jury will be instructed that they cannot be considered during deliberations, other than GZ himself, who is going to tell us what happened that night? I am aware of witnesses who heard and saw things AFTER the altercation was already in progress, but who is going to tell us that GZ was in eminent fear for his life?
Last edited by beach; 04-14-2012 at 11:19 PM. Reason: removed duplicate
further, my sister is married to a very dark-skinned black man. in over 20 years i have definitely noticed that he was raised to mind his own business, respect the boundaries of others, and not invite drama. for this reason, i believe it is quite possible that even if gf mentioned something to her parents, their natural reaction would have been to tell her to mind her business unless and until she had far more to go on than one phone call. why? because, as african american adults, they likely understand that every african american youngster will reach a day when they're face to face with racism. generally, the evidence of those encounters is invisible, though certainly painfully felt. neither this gf nor her parents could have possibly predicted that this time, a life would be lost.
Last edited by doubt; 04-14-2012 at 11:01 PM. Reason: grammar
George Zimmerman expected to take the stand in Trayvon Martin murder case, legal observers say...
There is no way around it,” Derek Byrd, incoming president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, told msnbc.com. “I personally believe he would have to testify. It’s not like a case where there were three other witnesses. Who else is going to say he was fearing for his safety when he shot Trayvon Martin?”
Nellie King, a Palm Beach-area defense attorney who is president of the association of defense lawyers, agreed.
“Zimmerman is the only person who can re-enact what took place that night,” King said.
Much more at the link..
Peeps be safe, tornados in wichita KS , !!!!!!
Let's be fair. I readily conceded the part of your account that research revealed to be correct (eventual prosecution burden); but you have a way of phrasing it so it sounds as if the defense has no burden at all; GZ simply makes up whatever he wants and then dares the SA to disprove it.
If that's true, then it really is open season for murderers in Florida.
You can hold back from the suffering of the world. You have free permission to do so and it is in accordance with your nature.
But perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could have avoided.
Be not simply good. Be good for something.
If the defendant doesn't meet his burden, then the jury never even gets an instruction about the affirmative defense. So maybe the burden isn't spelled out the way other aspects are, the ones that become part of jury instructions.
But I'm just guessing. It's probably written somewhere and I either didn't see it or didn't recognize it when I did see it.
Here's a site from a law firm in Tampa that shows a chart of the various burdens of proof (still no answer of the burden with affirmative defenses):
I was wrong: preponderance of the evidence is a higher burden than probable cause. It sounded lower to my non-lawyer's ear.
What Evidence is Required to Raise a Self-Defense Claim in Florida?
The defendant is entitled to a jury instruction on self-defense in Florida when there is any evidence to support the claim. This is a low standard and even a “scintilla” of evidence will be sufficient, even if the self-defense theory is extremely weak or improbable. Self-defense may even be inferred from the State’s evidence without the Defendant or a defense witness ever taking the stand.
Where there is no evidence of self-defense, the jury will not be given a self-defense instruction and the defendant will be limited in closing argument to challenging the State’s evidence and denying that the incident took place (assuming no other defenses were raised). Thus, if a Defendant testifies during trial, and states that he acted out of anger after the alleged victim walked away, he or she would not likely be entitled to a self-defense instruction. Florida courts have also denied self-defense instructions where the claim of self-defense is inconsistent with the defense theory of the case, such as where an alibi defense is raised.
Okay, here's a detailed discussion of what some of us have been searching for: GZ's burden of proof if he mounts an affirmative defense of justifiable homicide:
(Note to mods. This site is owned and operated by the Akron Beacon Journal, so I assume that makes it MSM and okay here.)
The bottom line is that in Florida, an affirmative defense requires only enough proof to create reasonable doubt. The defendant doesn't even have to prove his claims are probable, merely sufficiently possible to create doubt.
jjenny was basically right about this all along. And my home state has sunk even lower than I thought possible.
There seems to be serious legal issues that arises long BEFORE the gun went off. And it may erode the weight of the moment the gun went off:
-- GZ may be found guilty of creating a hostile/dangerous environment. There are laws against this, particularly when you put a minor (TM) in danger.
-- GZ should have known that "running after" a person while toting a gun could result in someone's death. Don't gun owners have to act specially responsibly? There are questions as to whether it was even legal for GZ to own a gun, given his prior arrest record.
-- SYG doesn't cover chasing a person down. Nor does it excuse the illegal activity of stalking a person. GZ wasn't a LE officer, so he had no authority/protection in acting this way.
-- There's a 911 call as evidence that he'd been "reminded" of a better way of handling his concerns. He didn't listen; he made decisions that in effect created a hostile/dangerous situation. This, coupled with his comments about "a**holes always getting away" could be considered premeditation.
-- GZ's story doesn't add up re: what happened before the gun went off. None of it makes sense...
He says that 6ft TM was "on top of him," hand over mouth, and banging his head. How can you fumble and get a hold of a gun when someone's almost suffocating you, cutting off your wind? The first thing a human needs to keep living is air. Seems that GZ's hands would have to be busy pushing TM's hands/body away first, so he could breathe properly.
GZ said he was screaming for help, but how can you scream when someone is covering your mouth? At best, your screams would be muffled... But those recorded screams are clear as a bell. Audio experts say they aren't even GZ's voice.
Funeral director saw no bruises or scrapes on TM, none of the usual signs of a struggle or fight.
An eye witness saw GZ on top of TM, in control of the situation.
... So, GZ's account of his state-of-mind when the gun went off is totally unreliable.
Trayvon B. Martin | Visit Guest Book
Trayvon B. Martin
Trayvon Benjamin Martin, 17, born on February 5, 1995, was the son of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. He was visiting with his father and his father's fiancé at her townhome in The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida, when, while walking from a convenience store, the unarmed youth was fatally shot and murdered on February 26, 2012. Trayvon, who was apparently doing nothing more menacing the evening of Feb. 26th than walking home from a convenience store, was shot in the chest during an altercation with a neighborhood watch captain who thought the teen in a hoodie looked "suspicious."
Locally, a Memorial Service for Trayvon will be held at 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at Morning Star Church of Christ, 225 S. Glendale Avenue in Rocky Mount, NC. NAACP President, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber will be the Guest Speaker.
All members of the community, town, city, state, and surrounding states, are invited to attend this Memorial Service. If you, your family, or your heart has been touched by the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, please join us as we move to bring ALL communities together. We have a duty to each other to raise the awareness and focus of such violence and the effect it has on us all. Furthermore, it is our duty to unify and erase the widespread acceptance of crimes as this for all people.
"His name is ringing all over the country, all over the nation, all over the world." Fulton agreed, "It showed us that even President Obama understands we need justice, that he understands our situation." Adds Martin: "The nation is saying... what if, what if this was my child, what would I do?"
Please join us.
Published in The News & Observer on April 9, 2012 Follow this Obituary
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