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  #51  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:58 AM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Sounds pretty close to an assault to me.
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Which act, specifically, sounds like an assault, or pretty close to one, to you?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Zimmerman accosting Martin with a loaded gun, with the intention of committing a battery or holding him against his will.
"Accosting" means "to approach and speak to often in a challenging or aggressive way."

But assault includes (in Florida) an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another.

So I guess I'm asking you how you get from accosting to assault? The loaded gun? Are you picturing that simply having a holstered weapon and speaking to someone in a challenging or aggressive way completes the crime of assault?

I mean, we can certainly imagine how things might have gone in ways that include assault. If we imagine that Zimmerman drew his gun and said, "Move and I'll kill you," that is most definitely assault.

But when I asked you to say specifically what you imagine happened, you used words that don't specifically make the crime of assault clear.
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  #52  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Zimmerman accosting Martin with a loaded gun, with the intention of committing a battery or holding him against his will.
Quote:
Originally Posted by treis View Post
There is no direct evidence supporting this account.
Now, wait. Intent may be inferred by actions. Zimmerman's comment about how they always get away, combined with his actions in following Martin, could allow a fact-finder to infer that Zimmerman intended to do something like this.

It's just the word "accost" I'm having trouble with. I agree that the evidence allows a jury to infer that Zimmerman accosted Martin -- "to approach and speak to often in a challenging or aggressive way."

I don't agree that this describes an assault.
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  #53  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:05 AM
treis treis is offline
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If you have to infer something, you are doing so because there is no direct evidence.
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  #54  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:17 AM
you with the face you with the face is offline
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Originally Posted by treis View Post
If you have to infer something, you are doing so because there is no direct evidence.
If direct evidence was essential to prove a crime occurred, we'd have a lot fewer people locked up. Circumstantial evidence matters a lot.
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  #55  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by treis View Post
If you have to infer something, you are doing so because there is no direct evidence.
Of course.

The problem is when inferences become too attenuated from their predicate facts, they are no longer permissible for fact-finders to reach.

The general rule is that a jury may assume that the accused intended the ordinary and foreseeable consequences of his actions, for example.

But a jury cannot pile inference upon inference. The jury can draw a reasonable inference from proven facts but cannot then draw another inference based upon their first inference.
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  #56  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
If direct evidence was essential to prove a crime occurred, we'd have a lot fewer people locked up. Circumstantial evidence matters a lot.
Of course. The classic illustration is hearing a gunshot and rushing into the next room to find a husband standing over the body of his wife, whom medical reports would show had been killed moments before by the bullet from the gun the husband was holding. The husband's hands are positive for gunshot residue and the room is locked, with no exits other than the one through which rushed the many witnesses.

No direct evidence. Each of those facts are circumstances which, taken together, allow the fact-finder to infer that the husband shot his wife.

But again: inferences cannot generally rest on other inferences.
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  #57  
Old 04-19-2012, 09:07 AM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
I had to look that last one up. You do realize those people will murder others and kill themselves at the drop of a hat don't you?
In so far as that is true, it is irresponsibly provocative to announce that you will be staging a bonfire of their revered books (and encouraging people worldwide to follow suit) to protest the construction of a church. This would be an asshole move if the target was Mennonites, but when you have an reasonable expectation of whackos on the lunatic fringe reacting with violence, that's an order of magnitude worse.

Not someone I would be in a hurry to have "supporting" me in a potentially volatile situation; unless gasoline on fire is more attractive than oil on waters.
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  #58  
Old 04-19-2012, 11:12 AM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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Originally Posted by Blank Slate View Post

The other thread should be re-opened. If specific people needed to called out for specific "infractions," fine. Why wreck a lively and interesting thread for everyone?
Since the question has been asked, it was the combatants which "wrecked a lively and interesting thread," not my action. Repeated calls for rules-following were ignored.

Thank you, Stoid, for opening a new thread with a specific topic for discussion. Since this follows current events, of course the topic can evolve. I try to be a fairly hands-off moderator so please, argue at will. Just follow the rules.

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  #59  
Old 04-19-2012, 12:18 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
No.

You said, "It wasn't up to him to rule on it in the first place." That's not true. It was up to him, until he chose to pass on that responsibility by seeking the advice of the prosecutor. No rule or regulation compelled him to do that. He could have arrested Zimmerman on his own. It WAS up to him.
I quoted myself exactly. Lawyers rule on legal matters, not officers.

Again, I parsed my words carefully. An officer can decide on his own if he feels he has sufficient grounds but he cannot rule on it as a legal matter. In this instance he sought guidance on the matter. Once that happens it's out of his hands unless he wants to risk the consequences.

Now if the department's legal counsel sought out the officer and intervened without asking, THAT would be overruling the officer.
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  #60  
Old 04-19-2012, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
I quoted myself exactly. Lawyers rule on legal matters, not officers.

Again, I parsed my words carefully. An officer can decide on his own if he feels he has sufficient grounds but he cannot rule on it as a legal matter. In this instance he sought guidance on the matter. Once that happens it's out of his hands unless he wants to risk the consequences.

Now if the department's legal counsel sought out the officer and intervened without asking, THAT would be overruling the officer.
Yes, I agree that once he sought guidance on the matter, it was effectively out of his hands.

Do YOU agree that before he sought guidance, it was in his hands?
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  #61  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:24 PM
newme newme is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Yes, I agree that once he sought guidance on the matter, it was effectively out of his hands.

Do YOU agree that before he sought guidance, it was in his hands?
Zimmerman went to the police station voluntarily on the night of the shooting. I remember reading that it was the "policy" of the the Sanford P.D. to solicit the opinion of the DA before making an arrest for murder in such a case. I can't find a cite; perhaps someone can back me up. It may very well have been legal for Serino to make an arrest at that point, but if he valued his job, it would seem to be an unwise move if that action went counter to official policy.
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  #62  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:32 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Yes, I agree that once he sought guidance on the matter, it was effectively out of his hands.

Do YOU agree that before he sought guidance, it was in his hands?
I already said that. But this whole row is about what I said which was that it wasn't up to the officer to rule on the legal aspect of it. The key word here is RULE. In the absence of obvious evidence an officer has a duty to the community, himself, and his office to seek council. It's not his job to RULE on legal matters.

Now if you want to get into the gray area between seeing someone commit the crime and various levels of evidence directly related to the crime, that's not just a new thread, that's the entire legal system. There aren't enough days in the week to argue it on a message board.

Last edited by Magiver; 04-19-2012 at 01:33 PM..
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  #63  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by newme View Post
Zimmerman went to the police station voluntarily on the night of the shooting. I remember reading that it was the "policy" of the the Sanford P.D. to solicit the opinion of the DA before making an arrest for murder in such a case. I can't find a cite; perhaps someone can back me up. It may very well have been legal for Serino to make an arrest at that point, but if he valued his job, it would seem to be an unwise move if that action went counter to official policy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker
Do YOU agree that before he sought guidance, it was in his hands?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
I already said that.
Good, then.

Quote:
But this whole row is about what I said which was that it wasn't up to the officer to rule on the legal aspect of it. The key word here is RULE.
How is that different? He could have arrested Zimmerman if he, alone, found probable cause. How is that not "ruling" on it?

Quote:


In the absence of obvious evidence an officer has a duty to the community, himself, and his office to seek council. It's not his job to RULE on legal matters.

Now if you want to get into the gray area between seeing someone commit the crime and various levels of evidence directly related to the crime, that's not just a new thread, that's the entire legal system. There aren't enough days in the week to argue it on a message board.
There is no gray area to this statement: "It wasn't up to him to rule on it in the first place." That is wrong. It was up to him, until he bucked the decision to the prosecutor, after which point it wasn't up to him.
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  #64  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:52 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post

How is that different? He could have arrested Zimmerman if he, alone, found probable cause. How is that not "ruling" on it?
It's the difference between an EMT and a doctor making a decision as to what needs to be done to a patient at the time of the event. An EMT is certified to do the obvious work needed but defers to a doctor otherwise.

I used the term "ruling" specifically to express this view. If you can express it better than that I welcome the help. I used "ruling" versus "decision" because it expresses the concept of ultimate decision over legal matters. The officer should defer any legal questions to counsel.

Last edited by Magiver; 04-19-2012 at 01:54 PM..
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  #65  
Old 04-19-2012, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
It's the difference between an EMT and a doctor making a decision as to what needs to be done to a patient at the time of the event. An EMT is certified to do the obvious work needed but defers to a doctor otherwise.

I used the term "ruling" specifically to express this view. If you can express it better than that I welcome the help. I used "ruling" versus "decision" because it expresses the concept of ultimate decision over legal matters. The officer should defer any legal questions to counsel.
OK, let's consider the EMT vice the doctor.

In the field, the EMT makes basic treatment decisions. of course he would defer tro a doctor if one were present. In certain cases, he might specifically contact a doctor to ask what to do. Once he did, then he cannot substitute his own medical judgement; he must follow the doctor's advice (as a general principle, and understanding some intervening event may invalidate this).

But before he consults the doctor, it's up to him to decide on treatment.

I think you're focusing on the fact that once the higher authority is consulted, that's the ruling. What you didn't capture, in my opinion, was the autonomy that exists for the officer (or EMT) before consulting the higher authority.
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  #66  
Old 04-19-2012, 02:49 PM
you with the face you with the face is offline
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We don't even know the nature of the consult. Did the prosecutor express their view to Serino as though it was mandate? Or was it more like "nah, I wouldn't proceed just yet, but it could go either way...I recommend waiting for more evidence but it's ultimately your call."

Serino claims he was "overruled", as though it was more like the first. Not a recommendation but a mandate. But that could have been an untruth or exaggeration.

The State Attorney's statement to the press strikes me as odd, if prosecutors have as much power that some of us laymen keep insisting they do. Instead of standing by their recommendation/ruling to delay arresting Zimmerman, isn't it weird that they foisted all the responsibility to the police by insisting they could have made an arrest if they'd wanted to? To use the EMT/physician example, that's like a doctor insisting that a paramedic can always refer a patient with left-arm pain to the ER to be evaluated for a heart attack, even if the doctor tells them from their podium of expertise that it's not indicated. But we all know that this if this patient ended up dying from a heart attack later, the doctor would be liable for dropping the ball. The paramedic would be in the clear, unless they neglected to tell the MD something crucial about the patient that would have altered the doctor's advice.

If prosecutors are tasked with dictating what cops can and can't do when they are consulted, it's certainly poor form not to acknowledge their role in the decision not to press charges against Zimmerman. Furthermore, if it truly is crystal clear that there was insufficient basis for arresting Zimmerman based on the available evidence and the SYG law (as Magiver and others seem to believe), I'm seriously wondering why Wolfinger et al. wouldn't have defended themselves with a legal argument instead of shifting blame to the police department. Rightly or wrongly, their failure to do that creates the picture that there isn't a legal argument adequate enough to support the state's non-action towards Zimmerman. I creates the perception that politics and backroom dealing were in play long before Corey got a hold of this case.
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  #67  
Old 04-19-2012, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
Furthermore, if it truly is crystal clear that there was insufficient basis for arresting Zimmerman based on the available evidence and the SYG law (as Magiver and others seem to believe), I'm seriously wondering why Wolfinger et al. wouldn't have defended themselves with a legal argument instead of shifting blame to the police department. Rightly or wrongly, their failure to do that creates the picture that there isn't a legal argument adequate enough to support the state's non-action towards Zimmerman. I creates the perception that politics and backroom dealing were in play long before Corey got a hold of this case.
I have an opinion on this question.

It's just an opinion. Nothing more. Pure speculation.

I think that when national attention on this blew up, prosecutors were leery of trying to explain the concept of probable cause, and specifically probable cause to believe that the force used was unlawful, the requirement of 776.032.

I reach that conclusion in large part because of my experience in this thread's predecessor and cousins in GD. I explained it many times, and in my opinion, very few people seemed to get it. Perhaps this was my failing as a persuasive and informative writer, but I have always felt (perhaps conceitedly) that I was good at explaining legal concepts to lay people.

So my speculative opinion is he decided to throw the police department under the bus rather than try to explain the probable cause requirements to a generally hostile audience.

Again. no real evidence, just a guess.
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  #68  
Old 04-19-2012, 03:12 PM
Rand Rover Rand Rover is offline
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There sure is a lot of stuff that strikes you as odd, ywtf.
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  #69  
Old 04-19-2012, 03:28 PM
you with the face you with the face is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
I think that when national attention on this blew up, prosecutors were leery of trying to explain the concept of probable cause, and specifically probable cause to believe that the force used was unlawful, the requirement of 776.032.
"There wasn't enough evidence to justify charges against Zimmerman at the time we were consulted on this issue".

This took me all of two seconds to cook this up. Not a very complex or politically sticky statement, and it would have sufficiently covered all bases for everyone involved (assuming that it's true). No need for them to delve into the hornet's nest of probable cause at all.

If you look at the SA office's statement to the press, they did talk about probable cause, and explained that cops have the ability to act on it when they find it. So this contradicts your idea that they were somehow leery of this subject.

Quote:
So my speculative opinion is he decided to throw the police department under the bus rather than try to explain the probable cause requirements to a generally hostile audience.
This isn't what they did, though. They threw the police department under the bus specifically by explaining how probable cause works.

Last edited by you with the face; 04-19-2012 at 03:29 PM..
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  #70  
Old 04-19-2012, 03:53 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
OK, let's consider the EMT vice the doctor.

In the field, the EMT makes basic treatment decisions. of course he would defer tro a doctor if one were present. In certain cases, he might specifically contact a doctor to ask what to do. Once he did, then he cannot substitute his own medical judgement; he must follow the doctor's advice (as a general principle, and understanding some intervening event may invalidate this).

But before he consults the doctor, it's up to him to decide on treatment.

I think you're focusing on the fact that once the higher authority is consulted, that's the ruling. What you didn't capture, in my opinion, was the autonomy that exists for the officer (or EMT) before consulting the higher authority.
See, I disagree with your follow through. The EMT in this example ISN'T there to decide on treatment. He's there to stabilize the patient on a cursory level. That doesn't mean it can't involve a serious level of involvement but that involvement has to be clear cut. The same applies to a police officer. They can arrest someone when it's clear cut but so can citizens under certain circumstances. Just like the EMT, a police officer isn't there to engage in treatment of the person involved. They are there as a first step in the process of delivering people into the system designed to deal with it.

An officer can arrest but not prosecute so any questions at all regarding the legitimacy of prosecution falls on those who are qualified to make a determination.
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  #71  
Old 04-19-2012, 04:20 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Now, wait. Intent may be inferred by actions. Zimmerman's comment about how they always get away, combined with his actions in following Martin, could allow a fact-finder to infer that Zimmerman intended to do something like this.

It's just the word "accost" I'm having trouble with. I agree that the evidence allows a jury to infer that Zimmerman accosted Martin -- "to approach and speak to often in a challenging or aggressive way."

I don't agree that this describes an assault.
That's why I said pretty close to an assault. It would take some evidence to determine that Zimmerman went further than just approaching Martin in some harmless manner.

The problem I have with the Zimmerman defense so far (and it's all limited by a lack of knowledge of the actual evidence) is that we are expected to believe that Zimmerman after making a determination that Martin was acting in some criminal manner, a determination which was not reasonable, then approached Martin in some non-threatening way with no criminal intent of his own, and then Martin just decided to attack him for no reason. It doesn't pass the smell test for me. But the state will have prove that something else happened. I'm waiting to hear the evidence.
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  #72  
Old 04-19-2012, 04:52 PM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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[QUOTE=TriPolar;14983109
The problem I have with the Zimmerman defense so far (and it's all limited by a lack of knowledge of the actual evidence) is that we are expected to believe that Zimmerman after making a determination that Martin was acting in some criminal manner, a determination which was not reasonable, then approached Martin in some non-threatening way with no criminal intent of his own, and then Martin just decided to attack him for no reason. It doesn't pass the smell test for me. But the state will have prove that something else happened. I'm waiting to hear the evidence.[/QUOTE]

If we accept Zimmerman's statement, he didn't approach Martin at all. I've stated before that I regard their meeting as an unhappy accident. It is easy to infer that Zimmerman might have said something that angered Martin or based on DeeDee statement, Martin was already pissed off about Zimmerman following him.

We are left with a lot of speculation until we see the forensic evidence and even that might not settle it.
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  #73  
Old 04-19-2012, 05:09 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Originally Posted by JoelUpchurch View Post
If we accept Zimmerman's statement, he didn't approach Martin at all. I've stated before that I regard their meeting as an unhappy accident. It is easy to infer that Zimmerman might have said something that angered Martin or based on DeeDee statement, Martin was already pissed off about Zimmerman following him.

We are left with a lot of speculation until we see the forensic evidence and even that might not settle it.
I'm not accepting anything because I don't trust the sources. I can at least make a judgement about the credibility of any evidence when it's aired in court. But I don't see how Martin could be pissed off at Zimmerman for following him if Zimmerman didn't approach him.
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  #74  
Old 04-19-2012, 05:14 PM
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I listened to the audio of Zimmerman's 911 call, and came away with the impression that he was almost certainly the antagonist of the encounter with Martin. The damning bits in my opinion are when he says "damn it, they always get away!" and the operator responds by saying "are you following him?" in sort of an incredulous tone. He says "yeah," and not too much later you hear someone that doesn't sound like Zimmerman shouting "help!" I can't imagine a scenario in which Zimmerman's actions wouldn't have caused a reasonable person to fear for their safety.
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  #75  
Old 04-19-2012, 05:44 PM
Martin Hyde Martin Hyde is offline
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I think the Trevor Dooley case will be very interesting to observe because it's going to be resolved prior to this case and can give us some degree of a preview as to how Zimmerman's case will go down.

Obviously the specific facts are different, but the general events are on the whole very similar.

That's why it is fairly interesting to me that Angela Corey charged Second Degree Murder; the prosecutor of Dooley charged manslaughter specifically because proving the "ill intent" aspects of second degree murder would be extremely difficult. That wasn't apparently a concern of Coreys, but if we ultimately see Zimmerman acquitted I think a lot of people will rightfully question why she charged so high. Based on discussions in the prior thread, her high charge does not preclude the jury convicting on a lesser included offense. But, if they issue an outright acquittal it would mean the case against Zimmerman was extremely weak, not even enough to get a conviction on manslaughter or unjustified homicide. That would to me make the decision to charge for second degree murder at least seem political.

Dooley has been out on bail since Sept. 2010, so I would be very surprised if Zimmerman is not given bail. Dooley was given $50,000 bail, in many states you can post with 10% cash down, I don't know the specifics in Florida or the specifics in Dooley's case. One wrinkle for Zimmerman is he will be required to fund the expenses of any home-confinement. With his bail potentially being in the range from $10,000-$100,000, and the home confinement costs probably running him $20-30,000 over the projected 2-3 years this trial could take there is a very real chance he just plain won't have the money to be released on bond.
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  #76  
Old 04-19-2012, 05:57 PM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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We don't know how much money is in Zimmerman's paypal account yet. Talking about the trial is a bit premature. The case has to survive the self-defense hearing first.
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  #77  
Old 04-19-2012, 06:12 PM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
"There wasn't enough evidence to justify charges against Zimmerman at the time we were consulted on this issue".

This took me all of two seconds to cook this up.
I see.

The problem I have with this is that essentially identical information was offered at the beginning of the now-closed thread; the following exchange took place at posts 28 and 30:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach
Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face
What is the minimum amount of evidence needed to establish that a crime has taken place when the only witnesses to the event are either dead or the shooter?
Same as with anything else, probable cause to arrest and beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. But in the real world a prosecutor will not proceed if he does not think he can get a conviction.
And in post 30:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach
Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face
Of course he's going to claim self-defense, if has any sense in his head. If investigators had to find evidence to contradict these claims everytime they were made, few people would be arrested for murder.
Bolding mine. So you think that they don't have to find evidence to refute a defendent's claims? You do realize the burden of proof lies with the prosecution?

Yes, every time that a claim of self defense is made and the prosecution presses charges they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was not self defense. How else do you think it works?
So far as I can determine, you were not satisfied with this explanation. For this reason, I'm skeptical of your idea that the general public would have been satisfied with the response you now propose the SA could have given.
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  #78  
Old 04-19-2012, 06:14 PM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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... and not too much later you hear someone that doesn't sound like Zimmerman shouting "help!"
How do you know what Zimmerman's voice sounds like?
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  #79  
Old 04-19-2012, 06:15 PM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
That's why I said pretty close to an assault. It would take some evidence to determine that Zimmerman went further than just approaching Martin in some harmless manner.
OK, I'm with you. I agree.


Quote:
The problem I have with the Zimmerman defense so far (and it's all limited by a lack of knowledge of the actual evidence) is that we are expected to believe that Zimmerman after making a determination that Martin was acting in some criminal manner, a determination which was not reasonable, then approached Martin in some non-threatening way with no criminal intent of his own, and then Martin just decided to attack him for no reason. It doesn't pass the smell test for me. But the state will have prove that something else happened. I'm waiting to hear the evidence.
Me, too.
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  #80  
Old 04-19-2012, 06:22 PM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
How do you know what Zimmerman's voice sounds like?
I assume you mean what he sounds like when he's shouting?
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  #81  
Old 04-19-2012, 06:36 PM
you with the face you with the face is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
So far as I can determine, you were not satisfied with this explanation. For this reason, I'm skeptical of your idea that the general public would have been satisfied with the response you now propose the SA could have given.
Satisfying the public has nothing to do with it, unless you're implying the SA's office should base its decisions (including those related to PR) on where the wind is blowing at any moment's notice.

If there was insufficient evidence, then they had insufficient evidence. Honesty and professionalism would dictate that they would stand by that rather than implying that it was the cops who were responsible for how Zimmerman was handled, not they.

If they had stated that there was insufficient evidence to make an arrest when Zimmerman was interviewed, people probably would have complained, but they'd come off looking a whole lot better than they do now.

Last edited by you with the face; 04-19-2012 at 06:37 PM..
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  #82  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:12 PM
PatriotX PatriotX is offline
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A few new tidbits

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ou-got-it.html

this among them

"The source familiar with the case said that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators had Zimmerman lie on his back in another location in an effort to recreate the position he said he had been in during the shooting. Then, the source said, investigators recorded Zimmerman as he shouted what had been heard on the 911 calls: cries such as, “Help me!”"
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  #83  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:54 PM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
I assume you mean what he sounds like when he's shouting?
Well, yes.
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  #84  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
I think that when national attention on this blew up, prosecutors were leery of trying to explain the concept of probable cause, and specifically probable cause to believe that the force used was unlawful, the requirement of 776.032.
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.
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So my speculative opinion is he decided to throw the police department under the bus rather than try to explain the probable cause requirements to a generally hostile audience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
"There wasn't enough evidence to justify charges against Zimmerman at the time we were consulted on this issue".

This took me all of two seconds to cook this up. Not a very complex or politically sticky statement, and it would have sufficiently covered all bases for everyone involved (assuming that it's true).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
The problem I have with this is that essentially identical information was offered at the beginning of the now-closed thread...
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.
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So far as I can determine, you were not satisfied with this explanation. For this reason, I'm skeptical of your idea that the general public would have been satisfied with the response you now propose the SA could have given.
Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
Satisfying the public has nothing to do with it, unless you're implying the SA's office should base its decisions (including those related to PR) on where the wind is blowing at any moment's notice.
Satisfying the public is exactly what I meant when I said: "So my speculative opinion is he decided to throw the police department under the bus rather than try to explain the probable cause requirements to a generally hostile audience." Satisfying, in this sentence, refers to providing an explanation that the public would accept.

Since a very similar explanation was provided in the now-closed thread, and failed to satisfy many readers, including you, I speculate that the explanation you proffer , given by the SA, would also not have satisfied the public.
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  #85  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:02 PM
Mosier Mosier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
How do you know what Zimmerman's voice sounds like?
Zimmerman made the 911 call. We hear his voice for 5ish minutes talking to the 911 operator prior to shouts for help.

Furthermore, at least two experts on voice analysis say its not Zimmerman shouting for help.

Last edited by Mosier; 04-19-2012 at 08:04 PM..
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  #86  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:12 PM
you with the face you with the face is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Satisfying the public is exactly what I meant when I said: "So my speculative opinion is he decided to throw the police department under the bus rather than try to explain the probable cause requirements to a generally hostile audience." Satisfying, in this sentence, refers to providing an explanation that the public would accept.
But the prosecution office did not avoid the subject of probable cause. They rushed right in head first.

Quote:
Lynne Bumpus-Hooper, a spokesman for Wolfinger, said the state attorney never spoke with Lee on the night of the shooting. Instead Sanford police consulted that night with Kelly Jo Hines, the prosecutor on call, Bumpus-Hooper said. She declined to say what was discussed.

"Police officers can make an arrest at virtually any dadgum point they feel they have enough probable cause to make an arrest," Bumpus-Hooper said. "They do not need our permission and they do not seek our permission."
http://www.covers.com/postingforum/p...&sub=101312221

Why do you persist in saying that they were trying to dodge this issue, when it's obvious they weren't? Your speculation makes no sense.

Last edited by you with the face; 04-19-2012 at 08:13 PM..
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  #87  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:16 PM
monstro monstro is offline
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Has there ever been a case like this where screams are intentionally recorded to determine their similarity to another set of screams?

I'm curious how this will play out.
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  #88  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:59 PM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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Well the bond hearing is scheduled for 9AM tomorrow morning. From what I read, Angela Corey may need to present more evidence if she wants Zimmerman to be denied bond.
Orlando Sentinel April 19th
Quote:
Because the charge Zimmerman faces carries a possible life sentence, there is a third standard the state could argue, known as "proof evident, presumption great."

It's a higher standard than "beyond a reasonable doubt," the burden necessary for a criminal conviction.

"It's not an absolute certainty, but it's just short of that," Fussell said.

Meeting that standard would require strong evidence. According to Lyle Mazin of Mazin Law, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey would have to reveal more specific details of the state's case against Zimmerman than have been made public.

That could include "videos, photos, witnesses' statements, confessions or any other admissible evidence the state has," Mazin said.
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  #89  
Old 04-19-2012, 09:18 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Has there ever been a case like this where screams are intentionally recorded to determine their similarity to another set of screams?

I'm curious how this will play out.
I caught something on a forensics show that talked about the psuedo-science of stuff like this. It was scary what an "expert" was allowed to present in court. The program was even questioning fingerprints. But that had something to do with how they recorded various points on a print so I assume that involved partial prints.

count me among those who are interested.

Last edited by Magiver; 04-19-2012 at 09:19 PM..
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  #90  
Old 04-19-2012, 09:42 PM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosier View Post
Zimmerman made the 911 call. We hear his voice for 5ish minutes talking to the 911 operator prior to shouts for help.

Furthermore, at least two experts on voice analysis say its not Zimmerman shouting for help.
Yes. I should have asked, "How do you know what Zimmerman's screaming sounds like?"

In my experience, the screaming voice bears very little resemblance to the speaking voice, no matter who you are. So the mere fact that to your ear, the screaming voice doesn't sound like Zimmerman's speaking voice should not, in my view, allow you to conclude much of anything.

Now, the experts... if the experts were unanimous, I would certainly be persuaded.

But my understanding of the accepted science is that similar voice exemplars are necessary.

Apologies for the PDF, but on page 91 it says:

Quote:
Audio forensic examination of recorded dialog may lead to a legal dispute over the identity of one or more of the conversa- tion participants. A criminal suspect or a party to civil litigation may deny being the individual who uttered the recorded words, especially if the recording was made via telephone without eye- witnesses to identify the talker visually. In these situations, the forensic audio examiner may be asked to identify or to exclude that the suspect was the source of the words in the recording in question.

The aural-spectrographic method for audio forensic voice identification is based on the judgment of a trained examiner who compares the unknown example of speech with one or more known examples. As the name of the method implies, the task of the examiner is to render a judgment based on both an aural comparison (careful listening) and a visual comparison of speech spectrograms.
In a typical case, the examiner begins by listening critical- ly to the recording of the unknown talker and identifies specific phrases that are distinc- tive and relatively noise-free. The examiner then arranges a recording session with the sus- pect to create exemplars that match the selected phrases of the unknown talker in pace, emphasis, and enunciation. The suspect repeats each example
phrase multiple times to produce recordings with as close a match as possible to the timing and speech pattern.
These experts have said they don't need to do this. Has their method been tested with other recorded screams? So far as I can tell, the software used (Easy Voice Biometrics) literally just began shipping last month. Does it, or the method, have any kind of track record or peer review?

If the experts are divided on the accuracy of this process, why are you accepting these two?
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  #91  
Old 04-19-2012, 09:44 PM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Has there ever been a case like this where screams are intentionally recorded to determine their similarity to another set of screams?

I'm curious how this will play out.
A court case? Not that I can find.

A study? Not that I can find either, but I'm not as confident about my research skills in this arena.
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  #92  
Old 04-19-2012, 10:26 PM
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The intersection of science and the law is interesting.

When DNA testing was in its infancy, there was a period when scientists knew they could reliably match biological samples to people to a vanishingly small error rate. And lawyers - defense lawyers, mostly - were arguing that the results should not be heard in court, because they were unreliable.

There are two different tests used in the United States judicial world to govern the admissibility of new scientific tests, methods, or techniques. In the federal system and many states, the Daubert test reigns. Based on Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), it's a relatively lenient standard that grants the trial judge a fair degree of latitude in admitting evidence. Basically, if "scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise..." in other words, the judge can permit an expert to testify about his theory, period.

There is a more restrictive standard, and Florida uses it: the Frye standard, based on Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923). This standard requires:
  1. The trial judge must determine whether the expert testimony will assist the jury in understanding the evidence or in determining a fact at issue (same as Daubert)
  2. The trial judge must decide whether the expert's testimony is based on a scientific principle or discovery that is "sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs."
  3. The trial judge must determine whether a particular witness is qualified as an expert to present opinion testimony on the subject at issue
  4. The judge may then allow the expert to render an opinion on the subject of his or her expertise, and then it is up to the jury to determine the credibility of the expert's opinion, which it may either accept or reject.

From Ramirez v. State, 651 So. 2d 1164 (Fl. 1995).

So the key difference: Frye requires that the science to have reached a stage of general acceptance in its field --- basically, that it not be novel or controversial. Daubert merely requires that an expert can be found and qualified to explain it.
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  #93  
Old 04-20-2012, 03:15 AM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
A court case? Not that I can find.

A study? Not that I can find either, but I'm not as confident about my research skills in this arena.

There has already been one expert that said that Owen analysis has no scientific basis.

Quote:
Dr. James Wayman, a San Jose State University expert in the field of speech science, told The Daily Caller that he questions the grounds on which Owen based his analysis.

Wayman also said he would be willing to testify against the admissibility of Owen’s findings on the grounds that they don’t meet the criteria required for evidence in federal courts.

“There is no history of, or data on, the comparison of a questioned scream to a known speech sample,” Wayman said.

The problem, he said, is that the two voice samples were recorded in difficult acoustic conditions over different cell phones.

“Even if we were to have Mr. Zimmerman recreate the scream under identical conditions with the same cell phone,” Wayman explained, “it would be difficult to attribute the scream to him without a sample of a similar scream from Mr. Martin under the same conditions. This is clearly not possible.”

Reached for comment, Owen told TheDC that he has conducted his own study — “The Owen Study” — of more than 400 different pitches, screams, and voice disguises. The study is unpublished.
http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/06/vo...rtin-911-tape/

Also there is some indication that Owens owns tha company that produces Easy Voice Biometrics.

Quote:
Golly, the Easy Voice Biometrics software has only been available since March 7. And the webpage that it is sold on is registered to:
Registrant:
Owen Forensic Services, LLC
Administrative Contact:
Owen, Thomas
Owen Forensic Services, LLC
Owens is quoting himself as an expert. I'd be interested if he will be willing to repeat his testimony under oath.

When I did a frequency analysis of the screams it appeared to be two people screaming, but I don't claim to be an expert. If both Zimmerman and Martin are screaming, then both sets of parents could be quite honestly be identifying their own sons on the recording.

BTW, does anybody else actually hear the words 'help' on the recording? I listened to it several times and I can't discern any actual words in the screaming. The witnesses say they can hear the words 'help'. I wonder if too much is getting lost in the cell phone compression algorithms.
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  #94  
Old 04-20-2012, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
So the key difference: Frye requires that the science to have reached a stage of general acceptance in its field --- basically, that it not be novel or controversial. Daubert merely requires that an expert can be found and qualified to explain it.
This seems to contradict how trials are supposed to work, honestly. Having the judge decide whether the evidence is convincing seems to be giving the judge too much power. The other system is better, as it allows the jury to decide if the science is compelling, just like they would for any other evidence.

I mean, it's not as if the other side can't produce an expert that argues that the other expert is wrong, right? The whole "dueling facts" is what our justice system appears to be based on.
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  #95  
Old 04-20-2012, 06:15 AM
PatriotX PatriotX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
Serino claims he was "overruled", as though it was more like the first. Not a recommendation but a mandate. But that could have been an untruth or exaggeration.
Did Serino claim this somewhere?
I would love to be able to link to this if he did so I could use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
Furthermore, if it truly is crystal clear that there was insufficient basis for arresting Zimmerman based on the available evidence and the SYG law (as Magiver and others seem to believe), I'm seriously wondering why Wolfinger et al. wouldn't have defended themselves with a legal argument instead of shifting blame to the police department.
Were there statements that AFTER the PD completed their investigation they did not have enough to arrest Zimmerman?

I know that the SPD issued a statement about why they didn't arrest Z in February.
In that statement they use the phrase "at the time" twice to qualify the idea of "insufficient evidence" to arrest Zimmerman.

Have they said something similar about the state of evidence at the completion of their investigation?
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  #96  
Old 04-20-2012, 07:03 AM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
This seems to contradict how trials are supposed to work, honestly. Having the judge decide whether the evidence is convincing seems to be giving the judge too much power. The other system is better, as it allows the jury to decide if the science is compelling, just like they would for any other evidence.

I mean, it's not as if the other side can't produce an expert that argues that the other expert is wrong, right? The whole "dueling facts" is what our justice system appears to be based on.
No, the judge has an obligation to screen pseudoscience from ever seeing the light of day. Bricker can explain it better but this is going to be challenged in discovery before the jury hears any of it. It's not up to a group of 12 people to sort out science from opinion.

Just from reading what JoelUpchurch posted above this is DOA. Newly introduced software using the unpublished review of the the owner as a source of validity lacks any kind of peer review.
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  #97  
Old 04-20-2012, 07:17 AM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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ABC Publishes Picture of Zimmerman's Head

http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimm...9#.T5FSvKVSQ06

Or go directly to the picture here:
http://abcnews.go.com/images/US/ht_g...0419_wmain.jpg

The text say that this picture was taken the night of the shooting by one of the neighbors at the scene.
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  #98  
Old 04-20-2012, 07:32 AM
Heart of Dorkness Heart of Dorkness is offline
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A question about the article linked above:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABC News
The person who took the photograph of a bloodied Zimmerman, asking not to be identified, told ABC News exclusively that they did not see the scuffle that night, but did hear it. The person recalled seeing Martin's prostrate body on the wet grass and said the gunpowder burns on Martin's gray hoodie were clearly visible.
[Emphasis mine]

That's just an incorrect word choice by the writer, right? If Martin was found lying face down (prostrate), that would presumably mean the gunpowder burns were on his back. That's not at all correct, is it?
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  #99  
Old 04-20-2012, 07:50 AM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
Furthermore, if it truly is crystal clear that there was insufficient basis for arresting Zimmerman based on the available evidence and the SYG law (as Magiver and others seem to believe), I'm seriously wondering why Wolfinger et al. wouldn't have defended themselves with a legal argument instead of shifting blame to the police department. Rightly or wrongly, their failure to do that creates the picture that there isn't a legal argument adequate enough to support the state's non-action towards Zimmerman. I creates the perception that politics and backroom dealing were in play long before Corey got a hold of this case.
whoa there, I have not made any statements intimating that it is crystal clear there was insufficient evidence for arresting Zimmerman. I've simply pointed out the legal aspects of the case and even at that it has been on the periphery of the conversation. If you read my earliest entries to the earlier thread you would see my concerns regarding Zimmerman. I have questioned what has changed now that they have arrested him. Either new evidence has been considered or he should have been arrested before. Under the FOIA we are entitled (eventually) to a full disclosure of why he was and was not arrested.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:59 AM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart of Dorkness View Post
A question about the article linked above:

[Emphasis mine]

That's just an incorrect word choice by the writer, right? If Martin was found lying face down (prostrate), that would presumably mean the gunpowder burns were on his back. That's not at all correct, is it?
depends where the gun was stowed. If it was in his waistband and Martin was on his chest then he would have been a poorly aimed shot from the back with the bullet traveling up and out the front.

If Z kept it in a shoulder harness then I imagine a struggle ensued. All conjecture on my part but where he kept the gun plays a part in where Martin was shot.
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