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Where’s the ‘Probable Cause’?
national review ^ | 4-13-12 | John Lott

Posted on 04/13/2012 7:05:10 PM PDT by doug from upland

The charges brought against George Zimmerman sure look like prosecutorial misconduct. The case as put forward by the prosecutor in the “affidavit of probable cause” is startlingly weak. As a former chief economist at the U.S. Sentencing Commission, I have read a number of such affidavits, and cannot recall one lacking so much relevant information. The prosecutor has most likely deliberately overcharged, hoping to intimidate Zimmerman into agreeing to a plea bargain. If this case goes to trial, Zimmerman will almost definitely be found “not guilty” on the charge of second-degree murder.

The prosecutor wasn’t required to go to the grand jury for the indictment, but the fact that she didn’t in such a high-profile case is troubling. Everyone knows how easy it is for a prosecutor to get a grand jury to indict, because only the prosecutor presents evidence. A grand-jury indictment would have provided political cover; that charges were brought without one means that the prosecutor was worried that a grand jury would not give her the indictment.

Advertisement The affidavit consists of six main points:

● Zimmerman was upset about all “the break-ins in his neighborhood” and expressed anger at how criminals “always get away.”

● According to a discussion with Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend, who said that she was talking to Martin before the attack, Zimmerman followed Martin. He did so despite the police operator’s saying “we don’t need you to do that.”

● Zimmerman “confronted Martin and a struggle ensued,” though no evidence is cited on this point.

● Trayvon Martin’s mother identified the voice crying for help on a 9-1-1 call as her son’s.

● Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest, and this is confirmed by both Zimmerman’s statement and ballistics tests.

● Martin died from the gunshot wound.

Note some of the points that are missing. The prosecution doesn’t claim Zimmerman had racial animus against blacks. There was no “f***ing coons” on the police call. Some extremely relevant information from the police report is completely excluded: There is no mention of the grass and wetness found on the back of Zimmerman’s shirt, the gashes on the back of his head, the bloody nose, or the other witnesses who saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, beating him, before the shot was fired. There is not even an attempt to say that the police report was in error; instead the affidavit just disregards it.

Even if everything in the affidavit is correct, it does not even begin to deal with the most crucial question: Who attacked whom? Even if it is true that “Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued,” there may have been no wrongdoing on Zimmerman’s part. “Confronted” does not mean “provoked” or “assaulted.” It could simply mean that Zimmerman followed Martin and asked him what he was doing in the neighborhood. Surely Zimmerman had the right to investigate a strange person in his neighborhood. The police operator’s advice that “we don’t need you to do that” was merely suggestive, not an order to stop. Indeed, the police had no authority to give Zimmerman such an order.

Now take the charge of “second degree” murder. There is no way that the affidavit justifies such a charge. In Florida, second-degree murder is defined as “the unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual.” But if Zimmerman was being beaten, there was no “depraved mind regardless of human life,” and the act “imminently dangerous to another” would be justified as self-defense.

Angela Corey, the special prosecutor who filed charges, claimed multiple times on Wednesday that the prosecutors “are seekers of the truth.” In our legal system, grand juries can sometimes provide a check on prosecutors who indict based on political pressure or the desire to seek the limelight. It is no surprise that Corey avoided the grand jury.

— John R. Lott Jr. is a FoxNews.com contributor and a co-author of the just-released Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future (John Wiley & Sons, March 2012).


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: blackkk; florida; georgezimmerman; johnlott; lott; marktwain; trayvon; trayvonmartin; z911calltranscript; zimmerman; zimmermancharged
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To: doug from upland

Here is part of what Trayvon’s girlfriend DeeDee actually said: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jhes6BlFf8&feature=related

She also speculated that someone pushed Trayvon “because the headset fell off and the line went dead,” but she had no way of knowing exactly what happened from what she said in the interview.


251 posted on 04/15/2012 1:25:04 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: trappedincanuckistan
Why indeed! Another sore spot for the prosecution.

If Trayvon was the one screaming for help why did at least one eyewitness say it was Zimmerman? Why did Zimmerman tell police he cried for help?

252 posted on 04/15/2012 1:28:34 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Aunt Polgara

The headset could have just as easily fallen off when Trayvon coldcocked Zimmerman and broke his nose.


253 posted on 04/15/2012 1:34:46 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: TigersEye
>>Then you never call back and don't inform anyone else until well after the fact?<<

I do believe that DeeDee did say she attempted to call Trayvon back and got no response, but I don't have the evidence for that. As far as calling anyone else, I don't know.

254 posted on 04/15/2012 1:36:30 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: TigersEye

>>The headset could have just as easily fallen off when Trayvon coldcocked Zimmerman and broke his nose.<<

yup


255 posted on 04/15/2012 1:38:46 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: Aunt Polgara
As far as calling anyone else, I don't know.

We'll find out. I'm sure her phone records have been subpoenaed and every call she made or received that night will be revealed.

256 posted on 04/15/2012 1:42:49 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Alice in Wonderland

If Trayvon was “pushed to the ground” how would DeeDee even know that, since she was on the phone and the phone went dead about that time? Maybe she did hear someone being pushed to the ground just before the phone went dead. How could she tell if it was Trayvon or George? I don’t think her testimony is going to be too helpful to the prosecution, and it might even be the defense that calls her to the stand as a hostile witness.


257 posted on 04/15/2012 1:44:02 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: TigersEye

If Zimmerman’s intent was to confront Martin why did he call the police? Why not pull up alongside him the truck? The entire Martin narrative is built on faulty logic.


258 posted on 04/15/2012 1:44:45 PM PDT by trappedincanuckistan (livefreeordietryin)
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To: trappedincanuckistan
Zimmerman has been accused of hunting Martin down and murdering him in cold blood. Angela Corey's indictment seems to agree with that accusation pretty closely.

Who would call the police before and during their hunt to kill someone?

Who would call the police immediately after killing them and report themselves?

259 posted on 04/15/2012 1:50:51 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: TigersEye

Who cries for help while beating on someone?

At the point Martin loses Zimmerman why doesn’t he just walk home?

The questions just keep coming.


260 posted on 04/15/2012 2:00:10 PM PDT by trappedincanuckistan (livefreeordietryin)
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To: TigersEye

So many questions. Here’s another...

Why would a guilty man willingly go to the police station and go over and over what happened and come back the next day to walk them through the events of the previous evening with no attorney present? With George’s dad being some kind of a retired low level magistrate, it’s not exactly like George wouldn’t know to shut up if he thought he had any culpability. I love this video. Never talk to the police.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc


261 posted on 04/15/2012 2:01:06 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: trappedincanuckistan
So many uncomfortable questions for the prosecution.

It might be a career breaker.

I can't wait for the forensic analysis. Were there powder burns on Trayvon's hands? What part of his hands? Does that indicate that he had his hand/s on the gun when it went off?

262 posted on 04/15/2012 2:09:14 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Alice in Wonderland

She heard Trayvon being pushed to the ground? How does someone hear that? The only way she would know is if he said “I have just been pushed to the ground.”


263 posted on 04/15/2012 2:39:36 PM PDT by doug from upland (Just in case, it has been reserved: www.TheBitchIsBack2012.com)
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To: Aunt Polgara

Is there any medical proof yet that Zimmerman’s nose was actually broken? It could have been bloodied but not broken.


264 posted on 04/15/2012 2:42:03 PM PDT by doug from upland (Just in case, it has been reserved: www.TheBitchIsBack2012.com)
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To: doug from upland

>>Is there any medical proof yet that Zimmerman’s nose was actually broken? It could have been bloodied but not broken.<<

Not that I have seen. There’s not much proof of anything yet.


265 posted on 04/15/2012 2:47:19 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: doug from upland

>>She heard Trayvon being pushed to the ground? How does someone hear that? The only way she would know is if he said “I have just been pushed to the ground.”<<

yup. :-)

Unfortunately, in the interview, she claimed that the phone went dead shortly after Z asked T what he was doing there.


266 posted on 04/15/2012 2:49:31 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: TigersEye

>>So many uncomfortable questions for the prosecution.

It might be a career breaker.<<

Bingo. Angela Corey, meet Marcia Clark


267 posted on 04/15/2012 2:51:01 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: Aunt Polgara

My guess is that Corey will not do the actual prosecution she will hand it to a subordinate prosecutor. If she does, judging by her press conference, she will be eaten alive in the courtroom and act like a clown outside of it for the press. Marcia Clark X2.


268 posted on 04/15/2012 4:02:34 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: TigersEye

Judging how giddy she was when she announced the charges, I doubt she will be able to resist being in the courtroom. Maybe she will get Nifonged. :-)


269 posted on 04/15/2012 4:04:31 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: Aunt Polgara

I have seen that video and it’s good advice. He probably shouldn’t have done all that talking even if innocent but it sure doesn’t make sense for a guilty man to do it.


270 posted on 04/15/2012 4:06:40 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Aunt Polgara
Yep. She is supposedly going to retire in the near future so she probably thinks this is her ticket for a high-profile win to end her career on. Unless there's some super-secret highly damaging evidence that no one has publically heard about she's going to Nifong out big time IMO. lol

Watch the press just drop the story if it starts to go south for her though. But that would be hard to do after all this buildup.

271 posted on 04/15/2012 4:11:32 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: TigersEye

I just hope that Z’s story was consistent if he’s innocent. Reminds me of Judge Judy... she always gets the parties talking and when she catches the first one in a lie, she rules for the other side. :-)


272 posted on 04/15/2012 4:19:18 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: TigersEye

>>She is supposedly going to retire in the near future so she probably thinks this is her ticket for a high-profile win to end her career on.<<

hmmm... I wonder if she has looked at any statistics on prosecution wins in high profile cases. I don’t think they are too good.


273 posted on 04/15/2012 4:23:09 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: Aunt Polgara
If his story wasn't consistent with the evidence and witness testimony you would think he would have been charged to begin with. There is, I think, an investigation of the Sanford PD but so far not one squeak about charging anyone with misconduct there. Not to mention the first state prosecutor who advised the SPD not to charge him.

Hmm, more uncomfortable questions. I wonder how much of the prosecution's case will rest on the initial investigation that was allegedly corrupt and/or shoddy?

274 posted on 04/15/2012 4:52:05 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: TigersEye

>>If his story wasn’t consistent with the evidence and witness testimony you would think he would have been charged to begin with. <<

Exactly


275 posted on 04/15/2012 5:08:09 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: TigersEye

Maybe we’ll see the first prosecutor and the initial investigators called as witnesses for the defense. Wouldn’t that be a spectacle.


276 posted on 04/15/2012 5:40:41 PM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: Ken H

Yes it would and at some point I would think they would want to defend their decisions publically. If they’re not called as witnesses in the case maybe Greta will have them on her show to comment on the case as it unfolds. :-)


277 posted on 04/15/2012 6:20:49 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: All

If someone who is really knowledgable about this case can summarize the facts, it may be time for me to do a Hitler rant about it. What is the actual amount of the bounty? Did both Sharpon and Jackson go down there? What were Sharpton’s specific threats? Which network did what in false reporting?

Thanks.


278 posted on 04/16/2012 4:17:58 PM PDT by doug from upland (Just in case, it has been reserved: www.TheBitchIsBack2012.com)
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To: doug from upland

Hi Doug, Rush last week say that Zimmerman should be able to collect the bounty, since he turned himself in. :-)


279 posted on 04/16/2012 6:12:31 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: Aunt Polgara

Heard that on his show today. Pretty funny.


280 posted on 04/16/2012 6:16:55 PM PDT by doug from upland (Just in case, it has been reserved: www.TheBitchIsBack2012.com)
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To: Alice in Wonderland
According to Martha Maurer of KTAR who interviewed Dee Dee, Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend who was on the phone with Trayvon just moments before the fatal shot, she said that Trayvon Martin described George Zimmerman as “creepy” and said “he’s crazy.” Shortly afterward, Dee Dee says she heard Trayvon Martin ask George Zimmerman “why he was being followed” and what was “he doing.” Dee Dee said, “Trayvon got nervous and he said he gonna run around from the back, so he ran from the back and said he had lost him,” but within a few seconds, “Zimmerman was behind him again.” Finally, Dee Dee said she heard Trayvon Martin “being pushed to the ground.

DING!

"What is hearsay evidence, Alex?"

281 posted on 04/17/2012 12:22:22 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: Alice in Wonderland

You’ve got two options: stay off Zimmerman threads or get the Zot. Is that clear? 
You are contributing nothing to the conversation. And why are you linking to clearly left-wing sources and regurgitating Trayvon’s girlfriend’s Alice-in-Wonderland talking points?


282 posted on 04/17/2012 12:30:53 PM PDT by Admin Moderator
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