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Posts tagged ‘Zimmerman Fallout’

Shellie Zimmerman takes plea deal

Legal Insurrection reports that Shellie Zimmerman has taken a plea deal on her perjury charge.

She has to server 100 hours of community service, after which her conviction will be stricken from the record.

Given the weakness of the charges against her, this doesn’t seem very fair. But then being charged with something you didn’t do is a punishment in itself so either way the state was going to get it’s pound of flesh. Sadly, this is the real problem with the US justice system.

That Zimmerman Perjury Charge

One of the consolation prizes of the anti-George Zimmerman lynch mob (let’s call them what they are) is the fact that GZ’s wife is being charged for lying about their family’s finances shortly after he was released on bail.

And until today, I figured that what she’d said had been at least a little dishonest. I mean, they did have $200,000 in a paypal account when she testified that they had no assets. Seems clear cut, no?

Well, (and in hindsight this should come as no suprise) it seems that the charge has about as much basis as George’s charge. And that’s being generous.

The affidavit for the perjury charge, written and submitted by special prosecutor investigator T.C. O’Steen, is — like the affidavit submitted for the murder charge — devoid of probable cause.

In fact, it does not establish a single specific statement made by Shellie Zimmerman and explain why that specific statement was false, why it was material, how it was a matter of objective fact, or why Shellie believed it to be false as she uttered it.

Of all of the elements of the offense that must be established and proved, the state established only that Shellie was under oath and testified in a judicial proceeding.

Not only does the affidavit fail to fulfill the elements of the offense, by omission it actually lies to and misleads the court. In this case, there is no doubt that Judge Lester was biased against George, but it is most likely that the affidavit was approved because judges are generally not used to dealing with prosecutors willing to lie to them. Receiving an affidavit for a felony charge, they tend to rubber stamp it, not considering that a prosecutor, an officer of the court, would mislead them. In this case, that’s exactly what happened.

This is the relevant excerpt from the affidavit of the cross examination of Shellie by Bernie de la Rionda:

Q: And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?

A: To my knowledge, that is correct.

Q: Were you aware of the website that Mr. Zimmerman or somebody on his behalf created?

A: I’m aware of that website.

Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result of that website was –

A: Currently, I do not know.

Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained or collected?

A: I do not.

Compare it with the transcript of the same testimony. The sections of the transcript that were omitted in the affidavit are in italics:

Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result of that website was –

A: Currently, I do not know.

Q: Who would know that?

A: That would be my brother-in-law.

Q: And is he — I know he’s not in the same room as you, but is he available so we can speak to him, too, or the Court can inquire through the State or the Defense?

A: I’m sure that we could probably get him on the phone.

Q: Okay. So he’s not there now.

A: No, he is not, sir.

Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained or collected?

A: I do not.

Q. Okay. You haven’t talked to your brother-in-law in terms of just bare amount of how much money?

A. No. No, I have not.

Q. Okay. And how long has that website been in existence, ma’am?

A. I do not know. I have not been with my husband since he’s been in hiding. I do not know.

Q. Okay. So you mentioned your husband was in hiding. I understand he left the state, is that correct?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Okay. And did you continue to have contact with him while he was out? 

A. Yes, every day.

Q. And that was every day?

A. Yes.

Shellie testified that they had no money in their normal accounts and that she had no idea how much money was in the Internet account, but that her brother-in-law probably knew that information and that she could get him on the phone.

Notice that the pertinent information about the brother-in-law was completely removed from the affidavit.

In short, everyone in the court knew about the paypal money, and there is no reason to believe Mrs Zimmerman testified untruthfully – she told the court that she did not know the balance of that account, but she did know who did. Indeed, her testimony appears to be more honest than the affidavit that accuses her of lying!

If this is true, the best thing the state could do is quickly and quietly drop the case. They’ve already embarrassed themselves enough already – do they really want another round? Indeed, at this point one is left wondering how the lawyers involved can continue this charade. Do they honestly think that this level of dishonesty won’t get them kicked out of the legal profession?

Juror B-29 – “George Zimmerman got away with murder”

Well, another juror has come forward from the Zimmerman trial, and she has given quite a different interview. I have not been able to find the full, unedited interview – and I don’t even think they broadcast one. To me, that’s important because this entire case has been about picking and choosing what information they will give to the public – especially the media. Indeed, the clip lined above contains information well known at this stage to be false.

(They also conclude with the Martin family’s so-called forgiveness.  Excuse me? This is a family who whipped up a lynch mob, and continue to do so. Let alone what we now know about their son’s character – evidence that was illegally withheld from the Jury. Forgiveness is not theirs to give.)

But what they have broadcast is curious. On the one hand, she says he was guilty of murder. On the other hand, she states that they had to follow the law and evidence and let him off.

Naturally, her “George Zimmerman got away with murder” comment is being highlighted just the same as the David Bain “gross miscarriage of justice” comment from the Privy Council was touted by his supporters. But this entire case has always been about one side highlighting limited headlines, and the other pointing to the detail which utterly destroys that narrative as false. In other words, she fed each side exactly what they are used to processing – one easy and believable headlines, the other, detail which disagrees with that and sticks to the facts.

I don’t think she intended to be that clever. But the fact she said that in an interview where she showed her face demonstrates clearly to me that much of this is about getting the lynch mob off her back. Because make no mistake, this woman, and all the jurors, have been targeted by the lynch mob almost as much as Zimmerman himself.

Mark O’Mara (Zimmerman’s lawyer) has a blog and here are his comments:

We acknowledge, and always have, that George killed Trayvon Martin. Over the last 15 months, we’ve heard from a lot of people who feel that anytime a life is lost at someone’s hands, the person responsible is guilty of SOMETHING. Indeed, it is natural to feel this way. In a self-defense case, however, that fact that the defendant committed a homicide is stipulated — it is undisputed. However, self-defense is one of the instances under the law when homicide is justifiable. People may disagree with self-defense laws, but a juror’s job is not to decide what a law should be, her job is to apply the facts presented at trial to the laws they are instructed about. Based on her statement, it seems Juror B-29 looked at the law, and whether or not she agreed with the law, she did her job and made her decision on a legal basis. This is the essence of what we seek in a juror: the ability to use one’s common sense, apply the law to the facts, agree not to be swayed by sympathy or emotion, no matter how loudly it’s argued by the prosecutors, and decide a lawful and fair verdict.

When Robin Roberts asks Juror B-29 if she stands by her decision, she says, “I stand by my decision because of the law. If I stand by my decision because of my heart, he would have been guilty.” While that decision of guilt would have been an emotional one, it would not have been a legal one. We applaud her ability to maintain the distinction.

We don’t expect jurors to be heartless people. Every murder case starts with someone who has had their life taken, someone who leaves behind grieving loved-ones. Every loss of life is a tragedy, and we don’t ask jurors to be immune to that. But we do ask jurors not to reach their verdicts based on what their hearts tell them; for the verdict, a juror must set aside emotions and follow the law. Based on her comments, Juror B-29 accepted a tremendous burden, set her feelings aside, and cast a verdict based the evidence presented in court and on the law she was provided.

I personally think that’s a very gracious response. And for all my criticism here, there is no doubt that, in the end, she did do the right thing.

Zimmerman’s “9/11” calls

Patterico does a detailed examination of Zimmerman’s many 9/11 calls, calls that were used to attack him for reasons that didn’t make much sense to me even before reading this analysis. After all, he was the local neighborhood watch captain in a crime-ridden neighborhood. You’d expect him to be calling the police much more than your average person.

One thing to note, it does seem that a number of calls he made were not actually 9/11 calls.

I think it could be unfair to criticize Zimmerman for calling 911 over potholes and animals. The Sanford FL Emergency Services website states:

The Emergency Communications Center also provides after-hours dispatch services for the Animal Services Division and other county operational departments and divisions.

We don’t know if Zimmerman called 911 or if he called another number and was routed or directed to 911 because his call was after hours. Look at the log of Zimmerman’s calls linked by SEK. Most of the calls SEK found objectionable occurred in the evening after the Animal Control and Maintenance departments were closed.

But back to the main post. A few quotes

Of the five calls the state introduced as supposed support for its theory that they showed Zimmerman’s state of mind as a profiler and wannabe cop, two of the calls pertained to the Beltaran home invasion, in which he didn’t profile anyone. He reported seeing someone who matched the description the homeowner (and his wife) had initially given police. The person he reported not only turned out to be the perpetrator, but the perpetrator was only able to be charged after his latent prints were found on the wall he had jumped over from Retreat at Twin Lakes to the neighboring complex. Burgess didn’t just commit one burglary, but several, and he was found in possession of some of the stolen property when he was arrested. He had a long record as a juvenile and he lived in the neighborhood.

In other words, it wasn’t “there’s a black guy here” it was “there’s a guy here who committed a crime”. That seems pretty legitimate to me. Indeed, to not call the police if you see someone who’s in the middle of a crime spree would be the unethical option.

There’s also an interesting comment regarding a call about a garage door being left open at 10pm.

On the garage doors: a neighbor gave an interview and explained his house had been broken into. While the neighbor was away, Zimmerman noticed the garage door was open. That is when he called, since he knew that house had been a target and the neighbor’s were out of town. It would be suspicious if a neighbor goes out of town and the garage door is suddenly found open – the way SEK presents it, however, it misleading since he juxtaposes potholes next to open garage doors next to suspicious activity calls (and this comparison makes you wonder how good GZ’s judgement is if he calls 911 for both potholes and suspicious activity, though, as explained prior, he may be rerouted through Sanford’s emergency line system). I’m trying to find the video, but haven’t found it yet.

Context is everything. That’s what people are (usually deliberately) removing when they talk about Zimmerman shooting an armed Martin.

Also, for those who didn’t know, Zimmerman has re-appeared to help the victims of a car crash. Of course, whether you believe he’s a decent guy or if you believe he has some sort of hero complex, this action can be interpreted to fit your view of the man.

Finally, according to this video Zimmerman was getting 400 death threats per minute on social media.The woman in the video was one digit out from Zimmerman’s old number, and that meant that her number got distributed by mistake as belonging to the man. Apparently a lot of people wanted to make the point that they were willing to kill Zimmerman and wanted themselves to be remembered as being two orders of magnitude more stupid than your average death-threat maker.


Zimmerman Review 1

JOHN ALTHOUSE COHEN ON FACEBOOK: “Prediction: the Zimmerman verdict will lead to amendments to penal codes across the country to make it easier for prosecutors to win convictions, causing even more blacks to be incarcerated.”

It’s almost inconceivable just how bad the trial coverage was. I even had someone last night who honestly was not aware of Di Maio’s incredibly unbelievable testimony, not to mention her huge credibility issues. He’s just read what she’d claimed, and the report contained nothing to suggest that she was unbelievable. Yet even reporters who witnessed the whole thing still don’t seem to get it.

Even today, people are still repeating things about this case that aren’t true, even things that have been known not to be true for months. National Radio for example, talked about “Stand you Ground”, when this had nothing to do with that law, and no claims were made under it in court. I even had someone last night still continuing to insist that Zimmerman was ordered not to follow even after I posted quotes from the trial where the prosecution stated it wasn’t an order, and the dispatcher himself explained why it wasn’t an order. People are simply not interested in facts on this one – why?

Worse, is the continual insistence that Zimmerman was a racist. Where’s the evidence of that? It simply doesn’t exist. The evidence is that he “stalked and shot” a black boy, yet that pre-supposes the answer the the very question put to the jury. So he’s racist because he shot Martin, and he shot Martin because he was racist.

The reality is that this really wasn’t racial at all. Yet certain people (yes, including Obama) used it for political ends and now we are seeing the result.


ROGER SIMON: Obama Big Loser In Zimmerman Trial. “By injecting himself in a minor Florida criminal case by implying Martin could be his son, the president of the United States — a former law professor, of all things — disgraced himself and his office, made a mockery of our legal system and exacerbated racial tensions in our country, making them worse than they have been in years. This is the work of a reactionary, someone who consciously/unconsciously wants to push our nation back to the 1950s.” Have you noticed that there seems to be a lot of fifties-nostalgia among today’s left?Forward — to the past!

Plus: “Of course, they aren’t the only ones. Almost everyone is a victim in this case that should never have been tried. George Zimmerman will never live a normal life. The American public has been polarized with emotions stirred up for absolutely no reason. Racism is essentially manufactured, as if it were a commodity.” For some political organizations, it’s a necessity.

And: “Congratulations to the jury for not acceding to this tremendous pressure.” Yes, they stood up to the organized pressure better than Chief Justice Roberts.

Indeed, the jury is to be congratulated. Sadly, for their trouble they’re in almost as much danger as Zimmerman himself.

But America really has to look at themselves today, and ask why they allowed a bunch of people to stir up the mob on this one, and why the media were, and still are, such ready accomplices.

There are some huge lessons that can be taken from this, but I fear at present, all the wrong ones are being learned.

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