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Alan Dershowitz: I Would Find Zimmerman 'Not Guilty'
Newsmax ^ | 10 Jul 2013 | Bill Hoffmann

Posted on 07/10/2013 5:43:17 AM PDT by SJackson

The verdict is in from Alan Dershowitz: if the renowned Harvard Law professor were on the jury hearing the George Zimmerman murder trial, he would find the defendant not guilty.

"I would say there's reasonable doubt. I would say nobody knows who started the initial fight," Dershowitz told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"Remember, it's monumentally irrelevant who's morally guilty here."

Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager in Sanford, Fla.

Zimmerman, a 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer for his community, says he shot Martin, 17, in self-defense during an altercation. But prosecutors charge that Zimmerman profiled the African-American youth as he walked back from a convenience store to the home of his father's fiancée.

"Whether or not Zimmerman was a racist and racially profiled and shouldn’t have been doing it and didn’t listen to police, that's all irrelevant in Florida law," Dershowitz said.

"The case begins when the first blow was struck, essentially. And we don’t know who struck the first blow. We don’t know if Trayvon Martin came out from behind of a dark area and jumped him and got him down.

(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alandershowitz; blackkk; dershowitz; florida; georgezimmerman; trayvonmartin; zimmerman

1 posted on 07/10/2013 5:43:17 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

Writer is in the correct.


2 posted on 07/10/2013 5:47:41 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: SJackson

Alan is obviously a racist bigot.


3 posted on 07/10/2013 5:49:01 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: SJackson

If I were a juror I would find him not guilty too and my verdict would have nothing to do with the law. (it doesn’t need to)

My not guilty verdict would be a direct result of attempts to intimidate and threaten a guilty verdict out of the jury and it would be a direct result of the media driving the attitudes.

If more jurors knew they could do this we might finally put a stop to the media circus that sets up camp around trials they decide are high profile.


4 posted on 07/10/2013 5:50:39 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SJackson

Duh.


5 posted on 07/10/2013 5:52:23 AM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To the left the truth looks like Right-Wing extremism.)
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To: SJackson

The question I have is, did Trayvon Martin have a “legit” reason to even be in the area, because if my memory is correct, that was a gate community?

In other words, was he in the process of getting ready to do “b and e” or “breaking and entering” ?


6 posted on 07/10/2013 5:53:28 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: SoFloFreeper

When an armed man and an unarmed man get involved in fisticuffs, you can pretty much assume the unarmed man started it. There are a lot of reasons for this.


7 posted on 07/10/2013 5:54:02 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: SJackson
No, Alan, the case begins and ends with one question: Did Zimmerman have a reasonable belief that he was going to suffer great bodily harm? If so, then he's immune from both civil and criminal prosecution, and it has everything to do with Flordia law.

It doesn't matter if he profiled someone or threw the first punch or whatever. Had the prosecution somehow destroyed the theory that Martin was atop Zimmerman then it can get confusing. But they didn't.

This shouldn't even go to the jury; it should rightfully be ruled from the bench and the Florida state portion of this circus should be over with. Alas, it will likely be followed by some fast and furious announcement from Eric Holder of federal civil rights case being filed against Zimmerman.

8 posted on 07/10/2013 5:58:33 AM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: SJackson
"And we don’t know who struck the first blow. We don’t know if Trayvon Martin came out from behind of a dark area and jumped him and got him down."

I'd say Zimmerman's injuries go a long way toward answering that question.

9 posted on 07/10/2013 5:59:09 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: SJackson

The state was literally forced into indicting Zimmerman by the media in the first place. I wonder if, given the miserable job they’re doing, the prosecution was coached to throw the case rather than take the chance of a conviction?


10 posted on 07/10/2013 6:03:40 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: SJackson

Me too. He had to be arrested and charged so the Martins and the politicians could reap the benefits. Hope he gets off and sues every you know what and becomes the richest guy in the world.


11 posted on 07/10/2013 6:03:51 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: SJackson

Does it matter who started the fight? I disagree. I say it does matter. The argument that the answer is no is that even if Zimmerman had started a fight (meaning, a fist-fight), he had no avenue of escape at the time he pulled the trigger and, being in fear of his life, was justified in using deadly force. This would justify a lot of homicides by people who start fights and find, at some point, they’re getting beaten. I would say, however, that this construction of the crime wouldn’t be murder in the second degree, it would be manslaughter.

The real point is that we don’t know who started the fight. The burden is on the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. As to what the prosecution is trying to prove, I actually have no idea. During the trial, the prosecution has said they have multiple theories of the crime., meaning they themselves are not convinced by any one theory of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. According to one of their theories of the crime, Trayvon was on top and was attempting to pull away from Zimmerman at the time he was shot. Yet, they do not have a shred of evidence proving that Trayvon was attempting to pull away. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe, since the prosecution believes, that Trayvon was on top. And, in the absence of any evidence that Trayvon was pulling away, it is reasonable to believe he wasn’t pulling away. Indeed, via Di Maio’s testimony, it is unlikely that Trayvon was pulling away as the hole in the clothing would not have lined up with the hole in the young man’s body, if he had been trying to pull away and was being restrained by Zimmerman holding onto his clothing.

So, the verdict should be not guilty.

As for the controversy about whether Trayvon’s interest in guns and in fighting should be allowed in court, if the prosecution would stipulate as to what theory of the crime they are arguing, the evidence might not matter. As it is, the evidence of fight should come in, since the prosecution contends that Zimmerman was not being beaten in any serious way, and the jury needs to be able to compare the relative fighting abilities of the two. On the other hand, under no theory of the crime is the gun evidence relevant. And, in my own opinion, interest in guns and in fighting by young men are good things. Back in the day, I was proud to have young men with a fighting spirit in my unit and felt entirely confident that I and my NCOs could discipline them.


12 posted on 07/10/2013 6:11:36 AM PDT by Redmen4ever
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To: cuban leaf
When an armed man and an unarmed man get involved in fisticuffs, you can pretty much assume the unarmed man started it. There are a lot of reasons for this.

Never thought of it that way, but you're right cuban... Insightful.

13 posted on 07/10/2013 6:33:01 AM PDT by GOPJ (In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is a dangerous extremist.. Greenfield)
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To: Redmen4ever

I have the feeling that even if there was video evidence of Martin striking the first blow, and video evidence of him on top of Zimmerman, pounding away, the political pressure on the state to bring charges would’ve still been strong.

Too bad one of Obama’s drones wasn’t overhead at the time and captured the events.


14 posted on 07/10/2013 6:34:15 AM PDT by Kharis13 (That noise you hear is our Founding Fathers spinning in their graves.)
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To: Kharis13

For all we know, there was.


15 posted on 07/10/2013 6:34:53 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (The only difference between flash mob 'urban yutes' and U.S. politicians is the hoodies.)
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To: Biggirl
The question I have is, did Trayvon Martin have a “legit” reason to even be in the area, because if my memory is correct, that was a gate community?

He was staying at his father's girlfriend's apartment in the complex.

But, according to none other than Rachel Jeantel, poor little Trayvon made it safely all the way to that apartment, then went back out to confront Zimmerman.

Reading between the lines of her testimony, Rachel Jeantel is the reason Trayvon Martin is dead.

She was on the phone talking trash to him about the "creepy-#%% cracker rapist" following him and how if he was a real gangster he'd give the cracker a beatdown he'd never forget.

When Trayvon was killed because of her she went dark.

It wasn't until Benjamin Crump hunted her down and gave her a script to follow that she resurfaced.

Case closed.

16 posted on 07/10/2013 6:38:01 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Who could have guessed that one day pro wrestling would be less fake than mainstream journalism?)
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To: cuban leaf

I hope the Defense uses your exact words.


17 posted on 07/10/2013 6:43:50 AM PDT by Chewbarkah
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Thank-you for your answer and now I have it all figured out. It was a planned attack on George Zimmerman.

She could very well get in trouble herself. Surprised she is not in trouble.


18 posted on 07/10/2013 6:47:24 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

“Reading between the lines of her testimony, Rachel Jeantel is the reason Trayvon Martin is dead.”

The reason Trayvon died is because he had two lousy parents. Had the parents provided proper supervision and guidance he would not have been suspended from school and therefore would not have been in Sanford that night. Alternatively, if Trayvon’s father had been at home that night with the boy, instead of running around with his “fiancé”, Trayvon wouldn’t have been wandering around in the rain talking to Jeantel. Any decent parent would have grounded a teen suspended from school and taken his cell phone away. If he had been my kid, he’d have either been sitting at his desk in his room studying or doing chores around the house under my direct supervision.


19 posted on 07/10/2013 6:48:31 AM PDT by Soul of the South (Yesterday is gone. Today will be what we make of it.)
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To: Biggirl

I was just reading between the lines, but the fact is that Trayvon did make it home safely and went back out.


20 posted on 07/10/2013 6:48:40 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Who could have guessed that one day pro wrestling would be less fake than mainstream journalism?)
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To: SJackson
Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic

What a bizarre, distancing turn of phrase.

It's as if he were writing "Sharpton, who identifies himself as Finnish" in order to show how unbelievable the subject's statement is to the author.

21 posted on 07/10/2013 6:52:06 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: Redmen4ever

Good logical post.


22 posted on 07/10/2013 7:02:18 AM PDT by plain talk
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To: SJackson

He’ll be found not guilty. The verdict isn’t the problem. It’s the rioting that will be the problem.


23 posted on 07/10/2013 7:25:12 AM PDT by TangledUpInBlue (I have no home. I'm the wind.)
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To: GOPJ
I think this is correct, and it bears repeating:

When an armed man and an unarmed man get involved in fisticuffs, you can pretty much assume the unarmed man started it. There are a lot of reasons for this.

I might modify that to "when an armed man, and especially one who is legally armed..."

Legally armed people tend to be very law-abiding. They don't generally go around starting fistfights.

Armed men who are about to get into a fistfight also don't call the police first.

Armed men don't generally start a fistfight, because they know it could end with them having to use their gun on the other person. I dare say that even if you don't care that much about the other person's life, generally speaking, no legally armed person wants to be known as "the guy who killed so-and-so."

Nor does any legally armed person want the hassle and danger and expense of being arrested and tried for murder.

Finally, if someone with a gun really wants to harm another person, he's not going to use his fists to do so.

24 posted on 07/10/2013 7:34:23 AM PDT by Jeff Winston
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To: Jeff Winston

You’re right on every count Jeff...


25 posted on 07/10/2013 7:40:35 AM PDT by GOPJ (In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is a dangerous extremist.. Greenfield)
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To: 0.E.O

With what little the prosecution had in terms of evidence, the prosecutors didn’t need to throw the case. Their most zealous efforts would hardly be distinguishable from throwing it.


26 posted on 07/10/2013 7:43:53 AM PDT by Bob
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To: SJackson
"Remember, it's monumentally irrelevant who's morally guilty here."

Dershowitz is correct and understanding this concept is monumentally important to understanding this case. Those in the Martin camp have sought to characterize Zimmerman as morally guilty and therefore he is entitled to use less force to defend himself. In other words, if, they imply, Zimmerman contributed to an atmosphere which resulted in a fight which entitled Zimmerman resort to self-defense he was morally guilty and therefore not entitled to use deadly force. That is to say, the degree of force used was unreasonable in the sense that it was immoral.

When Dershowitz makes his observation that it is irrelevant who is morally guilty he is making the distinction which I have been trying to make in many posts, that the right to employ self defense is independent of these moral considerations. The right to use self-defense depends on the defendant's "imminent apprehension of serious bodily harm" and that apprehension must be "reasonable." But that test of reasonableness has nothing to do with the defendant's morality, it has only to do with whether his assessment of imminent serious bodily harm is accurate in the sense that it is credible. The test of reasonableness is designed to elevate a test from mere subjectivity on the part of the defendant to a standard which jury can assess according to the circumstances in the case having to do with the imminence and seriousness of the harm.

Significantly, once the jury concludes that the defendant had the right to resort to self defense, he automatically has the right to resort to deadly force, regardless of his morality.

I have said this in the context of the jury arriving in a compromise verdict finding Zimmerman guilty of manslaughter because they are led down the false path of morality. The simple fact is that under the law in Florida if Zimmerman is innocent of murder II because he properly resorted to self-defense, then he is automatically innocent of the charge of manslaughter for the same reason.

I have said the judge should charge to this effect to avoid any improper compromise verdict which the jury has no right to make.


27 posted on 07/10/2013 7:52:32 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: SJackson

I still am having a really tough time with the term ‘unarmed’ applied to Trayvon Martin.

IIRC, the can of Arizona Iced Tea which he had bought along with the Skittles is a 20 OZ can.

I just browsed my cupboard of canned goods.

I have cans of DOLE crushed pineapple—they are all 20 OZ.

I picked up that can- hefted it a few times & swung it in a motion which would become an overhead blow to someone or something.

Then I asked myself:

IF someone was using that 20 OZ can to hit me about my head & upper body, would I consider that a WEAPON?

Hell, yes!!!!!


28 posted on 07/10/2013 7:56:44 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: SJackson

Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, who identifies himself as worm food.


29 posted on 07/10/2013 8:26:05 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: cripplecreek

If Z is found guilty, I bet America will rise up against the injustice. People will tolerate a guilty person who is found not guilty; but we will not tolerate the injustice of an innocent man found guilty. At least I hope that’s true. Americans need to stand up against our justice system


30 posted on 07/10/2013 8:49:24 AM PDT by ncpatriot
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To: circlecity
I'd say Zimmerman's injuries go a long way toward answering that question.

Doesn't answer who threw the first blow, but certainly who threw the effective blows, and who might have been in fear of his life.

31 posted on 07/10/2013 5:31:57 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do !)
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To: kingu
No, Alan, the case begins and ends with one question: Did Zimmerman have a reasonable belief that he was going to suffer great bodily harm? If so, then he's immune from both civil and criminal prosecution, and it has everything to do with Flordia law.

I haven't had time to spend on these threads as I'd liked, so maybe this has been answered. But it's my understanding that if Zimmerman initiated, on the one hand he could well have felt fear for bodily harm and legitimately defended himself, however the initiating actions could open him to lesser charges based on negligence and/or imprudent action. Of course the prosecution, in their wisdom, didn't address those possibilities. I'm not suggesting Zimmerman is culpable for those actions.

32 posted on 07/10/2013 5:38:41 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do !)
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To: Redmen4ever
You're right, who started the fight does matter, though as you state not in the context of 2nd degree murder. And the prosecution has presented nothing to support lesser charges. I don't think there's anything to convict him of. I'm puzzled what there was to charge him, other than national media and Executive Branch pressure.

Do we agree than contributing actions could lead to criminal liability? If Zimmerman started the fight, and came out on the short end, legitimately defending himself isn't murder, but there might be something there. Not suggesting that happened.

If I sell a firearm to someone without documentation, required or not, I could be subject to civil or criminal penalties.

If I sell a firearm to known criminals, who use it to kill anyone from a Border Patrol agent to a Police Chief to hundreds of citizens, many probably criminals, of another nation, I'm guilty of nothing.

Go figure.

33 posted on 07/10/2013 5:49:22 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do !)
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To: wideawake

Yes, I don’t remember Zimmerman identifying himself as anything. Some corners of the media identified him as Jewish. I wonder what he identifies himself as, or why it matters.


34 posted on 07/10/2013 5:57:17 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do !)
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To: TangledUpInBlue
He’ll be found not guilty. The verdict isn’t the problem. It’s the rioting that will be the problem.

A different more serious problem should it come to pass.

35 posted on 07/10/2013 5:58:07 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do !)
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To: nathanbedford

You present the moral/legal distinction quite well, though in this situation I don’t see the conflict I suspect Alan might. As to lower charges, though there could be something there in the context of imprudent or negligent action which I don’t see, they weren’t charged, thus depriving Zimmerman of the ability to defend against them. They shouldn’t be an issue.


36 posted on 07/10/2013 6:08:30 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do !)
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To: ridesthemiles
I still am having a really tough time with the term ‘unarmed’ applied to Trayvon Martin. IIRC, the can of Arizona Iced Tea which he had bought along with the Skittles is a 20 OZ can.

A few people with an Arizona Tea to put in their sock would have been well armed on 9/11. Able to defeat box cutters. Couple bars of soap works too. Camera on a strap.

37 posted on 07/10/2013 6:10:26 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do !)
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To: SJackson

The first blow is the one most likely to land - Martin didn’t have a mark on him. That makes the probability overwhelming Martin threw the first blow. End of story.


38 posted on 07/10/2013 6:11:28 PM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity

Clearly the probability.


39 posted on 07/10/2013 6:44:13 PM PDT by SJackson ( The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. BF)
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To: SJackson

On the matter of civil liability, the standard is preponderance of evidence (or, who has the most). As we know from the OJ trial, you can meet this standard and not meet the standard for criminal conviction of beyond reasonable doubt. But, what money could they get from George Zimmerman? Even if he were found liable, he’d simply declare bankruptcy and walk away. He wouldn’t even need a lawyer. Just defend yourself pro se and let the other side spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for the possibility of nothing.


40 posted on 07/10/2013 9:57:57 PM PDT by Redmen4ever
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