Skip to comments.Where’s the ‘Probable Cause’?
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 wasnt required to go to the grand jury for the indictment, but the fact that she didnt 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 Martins girlfriend, who said that she was talking to Martin before the attack, Zimmerman followed Martin. He did so despite the police operators saying we dont need you to do that.
● Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued, though no evidence is cited on this point.
● Trayvon Martins mother identified the voice crying for help on a 9-1-1 call as her sons.
● Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest, and this is confirmed by both Zimmermans statement and ballistics tests.
● Martin died from the gunshot wound.
Note some of the points that are missing. The prosecution doesnt 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 Zimmermans 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 Zimmermans 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 operators advice that we dont 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: Obamas War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future (John Wiley & Sons, March 2012).
So a latino wannabe cop encountered a black wannabe gangsta thug on that fateful night and now all the white people are being blamed. It’s a perfect storm.
Unfortunately foe Zimmerman, cowardly politicans and mob rule is what happening today. Therefore Zimmerman is in trouble. If his lawyer has not advised him that,judging by today's political climate, he can look forward to being convicted and a long prison sentence. I don't like it but that is the way things go.
The dispatcher (not a police officer) advised Zimmerman, and I quote, “You don’t have to do that.” Falls somewhat short of an order or directive,
It’s not nitpicking at all. Words are supposed to have meaning. Taken literally (which is the only way that words from a 911 operator should be taken), the operator merely stated what he didn’t need. At best, it was a very ambiguous statement. It would have been perfectly reasonable for Zimmerman to respond: “That’s okay, I don’t mind”. For all we know, that’s what Zimmerman was thinking.
“Have you listened to the 911 call in its entirety? “
We have to weigh the fact a huge number of people here don’t research ANYTHING on their own.
They just “watch tv”.
That how they get their information and make their judgements.
By watching a “TV”. That’s how they get their “facts”.
Frightening. This has been going on for WEEKS and all that wealth of information is out there and still these people don’t remotely grasp the logical chain of events.
Reminiscent of Mike Nifong.
It never happened. When asked if he was following, Zimmerman responded affirmatively and the dispatcher only said, "We dont need you to do that."
That is not an order. That is not a warning (like CBS characterized it).
Such perpetuated characterizations are false, misleading an affront to justice.
It ranks up there with NBC's blatant racist editing of the 911 call and CNN's magically discovered (and later undiscovered) "racial slur" in the 911 call.
The deliberate perversion and narrative shaping seen in the Media coverage and from race-based activists is truly appalling, wholly unacceptable and needs repudiating at every turn.
If someone was beating the snot of you and you were armed would you shoot them?..
Romney voters most likely wouldn’t..
Obama voters would be doing the beating..
Newt voters would shoot him right in the eye..
Identifying the voice is crucial. Trayvon’s mother has good reason to identify the voice crying for help as her son’s. It makes him him the victim rather than the perpetrator.
I wonder how many people it took to come up with this piece of crap. I also wonder did Corey get to choose which judge it went before.
There is so much corruption involved in the denial of this man’s rights, it’s sickening. And I still don’t hear one politician standing up for the contitution. Not even a tea party politician. Cowards! All of them!
[[The charges brought against George Zimmerman sure look like prosecutorial misconduct]]
Gee- ya think? But Because obama initiated racial hatred by adopting trayvon and giving his nod to the blasck panther’s racist bounty on zimmerman, NOTHING will ever be doen to prosecute the prosecutor who has conducted this prosecutirial misconduct. She had to INVENT a charge in order to have him arrested for crying out loud Because there was NOTHING to charge him withp- so she just made up a charge that is totally irrelevent ot the case- it would be liek if someoen thought I stole a bottle of milk from someone’s doorstep, but diudn’t have any evidence I had actually done it, but they went ahead and accused me of arson even though no fire evidence is visible-
We are suppsoed to be protected i nthis coutnry agaisnt prosecutorial misconduct, but because obama gave the nod to FALESLY ACCUSE Zimmerman, NOTHING will ever be doen to protect zimmerman from a vindictive racist court
[[ Zimmerman was upset about all the break-ins in his neighborhood and expressed anger at how criminals always get away. ]]
Actually Zimmerman voiced the fact that punks always got away by the back gate- and we don’t kow whether Zimmetrman was upset abotu htis fact or not-
[[According to a discussion with Trayvon Martins girlfriend, who said that she was talking to Martin before the attack, Zimmerman followed Martin.]]
When did it becoem agaisnt the law to follow someone?
[[He did so despite the police operators saying we dont need you to do that. ]]
BZZZZT WRONG! another lie- Zimmermaqn stopped following at that point and agreed to meet with the police out by the mailboxes and infact had turned arounnd and was goign to do just that when he was blindsided by trayvon
[[Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued, though no evidence is cited on this point.]]
Really? What’s the evidence to back htis up=- Because Zimmerman tells a compeltely different account and zimmerman was there- that shoud read (provided someoen is actually interested in presenting FACTS instead of conjecture and inuendo) “Zimmerman then encountered Martin, at which time a fight broke out...”
[[Trayvon Martins mother identified the voice crying for help on a 9-1-1 call as her sons.]]
Trayvon’s Father heard the same voice and told investigators on the scene ‘no that is definately not my son’s voice’
[[Confronted does not mean provoked or assaulted.]]
Bingop- this is what I have been saying for al ong time now it is NOT agaisnt hte law to confront someone- it IS however agaisnt hte law to ASSAULT someone- Had Trayvon simply stood an inch away from george yelling and screaming in zimmerman’s face, and had george then shot him- it would have been first degree murder without a doubt- however, since the fight occured, zimmerman had every right to defend hismelf with force- He could have legally done so after the very first punch, and didn’;t have to wait to have his head bashjed i nte cement i nthe hopoes that his head wouldn’t split wide open and kill him- yet george apparentyl from testimony, never drew hisw gun UNTIL martin spotted the gun and went for it
[[Angela Corey, the special prosecutor who filed charges, claimed multiple times on Wednesday that the prosecutors are seekers of the truth.]]
She’s full of shit- She sold her soul to the Devil of LIES when she trumped up FALSE charges against an innocent man who had already been investigated and found to be innocent by the investigation
[[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. ]]
Don’t bet on that happening becaue our president has given his silent consent of the prosecutorial misconduct by REFUSING to do what any good leader should do- He has refused ot warn everyoen involved that ANY illegal activity regarding hte case will be prosecuted with hte fullest extent of the law- That means the black panthers, AND any law official who conducts prosecutorial misconduct0- BUT as you can see- Our preseident has REFUSED to speak out agianst this travesty of justice because he invested hismelf so heavily when he assininelty suggested that if he had a son he would look like trayvon who it seems was the ONLY one who commited a crime (assault with threats of murder) in this case
I don’t believe he was following the kid in his car....he started returning to his car and Martin jumped him, from what I have read...
on foot- you can hear him running to see which street martin ducked down- zimmerman ran to get a street sign so he could tel lthe dispatcher which street martin had ducked down- you can hear george breathign hard o nthe phone
Before you congratulate him you should check the link in post #55.
RightwardHo flat out claimed that Zimmerman was told not to follow. He’s been asked several times to back up his assertion, but so far he has not. Is he justified in making such a claim, in your opinion?
[[There is NO doubt there is probable cause for Voluntary.]]
It can’t be voluntarty manslaughter because someoine in iminent danger has the right to defend themselves with deadly force- voluntary manslaughter suggests a person actsi n in the heat of passion; and heat of passion was caused by adequate provocation- in order for there to be provocation, they would have to prove he acted afgter ‘losing self control’ ‘in hte heat of the moment’ act on impulse and without reflection. Defending oneself with deadly force it woukld seem is not infact ‘losing self control,’ but raqther a determined and rational act intended to preserve one’s own life’.
Acting WITH Reflection is a deliberate act, whereas acting WITHOUT relfection (which is the requirement for voluntary manslaughter) is acting without thinking-
I’m no lawyer- it just seems to me that htere is aq definate distinction between defending oneself with deadlty force, and voluntary manslauighter- which is an irrational or rather an act without reflection or rather thinking and deciding
It sure is. GZ told the police that he called out for help and at least one witness said that it was him. Under the scrutiny in a court room it is bound to become very clear what the truth is. If Zimmerman was the one crying out for help this whole case will fall apart.
No. In fact, a real neighborhood watch captain spotted a real gangsta thug who tried to kill him, but was in turn killed by the lawful use of second amendment rights by the lawful neighborhood watch captian who was on the phone with the lawful police, following their lawful orders.
Wannabe Freepers, however, don't get that.
The scene of the shooting is described in the police report. It’s not along the street but between two buildings, that is in back of both of them, their fronts facing two different streets. There is a sidewalk there, which is presumably where Zimmerman injured his head. It’s my opinion that Martin went back there with the intention of luring Zimmerman in after him, and then hid and ambushed him. I think this is at least a very plausible scenario.
[[In fact, a real neighborhood watch captain spotted a real gangsta thug who tried to kill him, but was in turn killed by the lawful use of second amendment rights by the lawful neighborhood watch captian who was on the phone with the lawful police, following their lawful orders. ]]
I could not have put it any better- lemme just add that the unlawful left is ignoring hte law and the facts of the case, and hoping for an unlawful conviction of a law abiding citizen
“When the cops told Zimmerman to quit following the other guy”
No cops told him to do so, and I’m not sure cops would have the authority to order him if they had.
“easy call” you are smoking dope. The local DA and police chief have already declined to arrest based on the evidence that they collected. The DA and police chief will be called as witnesses for the defense.
“Something about not being held to answer for a capital or
otherwise infamous crime without”
There’s no capital punishment for 2nd degree murder. The crime may be “infamous,” but not necessarily in the way the Constitution means.
“SO, what if the special prosecutor intentionally overcharged the case, so as to give the trial judge an out for the self defense claim?
Obama still gets to tell the faithful that the case was properly brought, and that the real problem is that damn FL self defense statute”
Huh? You could make that point easier and more forcefully by not charging him at all. More importantly, you wouldn’t have wasted my time.
This is my thoughts.
-A young black male is on the phone with his “shorty”.
-he’s walking slowly and looking around because that’s what people do when they are on cell phones.
-Zim takes this action to be suspicious because of all the break-ins
-the young black male notices someone “following” him, gets scared and runs. Maybe someone was after him???
-Shorty is laughing and calling him a p-—y
-He’s embarrassed because he just ran like a lil b-—h from a short white guy
To save face and show he’s a man(thug, gangsta) he decides to go kick some a—. He gets a 9mm slug instead.
After all he was still on the phone almost up to the time he was shot.
Lets face it when Zim had lost him he had time to get home.
I’m sure if they get the girlfriend on the stand she will break and spill the beans about what she really heard.
“So where is this ‘the police told him not to follow’ stuff
The minds of the confused and the mouths of liars.
what i have not heard yet from anybody....let me get this straight...Zimmerman called the police when he first saw Martin. They claim Zimmerman stalked and murdered him. Ok, explain this...who on Earth calls the police BEFORE they commit cold blooded murder?. Whole case is absurd. He’ll never get convicted.
I doubt that. I've never made a 911 call, but I'm familiar enough with police policy that, if I called 911 and received that advice, I'd take it as an admonition to leave pursuit to the officers when they arrive. Certainly, George Zimmerman, a wannabe cop who has made 46 calls to 911 since 2004, would have a similar understanding.
Indeed, Zimmerman responded "OK" to the dispatcher's advice. And it seems that, in fact, he did break off following Martin, and he stated that he had lost Martin. But, unfortunately, Martin had not lost Zimmerman and apparently decided to teach him a lesson about profiling and disrespect in an unlawful manner, not considering that the object of his lesson might be armed.
Here is an excerpt
He will if they get a bunch of idiots on the jury. I got into an argument with my normally level headed brother over this. I sent him the maps and the call transcripts and I haven’t heard from him since. He kept saying wait for forensics. I told him we already know how Trayvon died and who killed him.
“There is NO doubt there is probable cause for Voluntary.”
But that’s not what he’s charged with. Where does probable cause come for arresting him on murder 2?
“I am a little surprised at 2nd degree but just carrying the gun and following when told not to gets you there.”
Huh? He has every right to conceal and carry according to his license. As for following when told not to, that’s irrelevant. It wasn’t a lawful order, not given to him by any kind of authority, and we don’t even know for sure whether he disobeyed it, do we?
“Fortunately, none of these people are involved in the case. Good attys on both sides. The system is working.”
If he had been charged with manslaughter we wouldn’t have people on both sides of the aisle suggesting prosecutoral misconduct. This is not “the system working.” There’s no evidence of a “depraved mind,” if nothing else.
Carrying a gun and possibly ignoring some random telephone operator does not amount to murder 2, and nothing will, unless the prosecution pulls a rabbit out of its hat. But if their secret evidence is so damning, why wasn’t what it demonstrates laid out in the affidavit? Because even if they prove everything they talk about there beyond the shadow of a doubt, it wouldn’t amount to murder 2.
I hope in your 25 years of prosecution you didn’t so grossly overcharge people.
He did not call 911. He called the non-emergency number. This is the number you call to report suspicious activity. The military has the same set up and I have used it last year. Some clown was taking photos where he was not supposed to.
The first question they will ask is if you are calling to report a crime in progress.
Ok. For the millionth time. Zimmerman did NOT call 911. He called the Sanford Police Department dispatch (non-emergency) which is what neighborhood watches do. The dispatcher did NOT say don’t follow. He said “we don’t need you to do that” and Zimmerman said “ok”.
If we keep repeating what others say rather than listening to the actual tape we are contributing to the problem. Please take the time to listen carefully to the actual recordings before repeating inaccuracies.
Correction: It was on the Sanford PD site, until Bitch Corey told them to take it down. Fortunately, the good folks at the above link archived it. The internet interprets censorship as damage.
True, but irrelevant. My mistake.
The question was how Zimmerman should have taken the police advice, "We don't need you to do that", not which line to the police he was on.
Not to mention the fact that the arresting police officer states that at the time Zimmerman says he was calling for help but no one would help him.
Zimmerman first agreed to meet the police by his vehicle, near the mailboxes on Twin Trees. But then he said they should call him so he could tell them where he was. It sure doesn't seem like he intended to return to his vehicle immediately.
For some reason or another he decided to go on the pathway which runs behind the houses ... in the opposite direction from where he was parked. And on that pathway the shooting took place.
If you look at the map you will see the layout of the complex. It would have been easy for Trayvon to just cross over to the parallel street and continue on home. Zimmerman would have had to return to his truck and drive all the way around. Trayvon could have then crossed back to the sidewalk if he was so scared.
Just Google Retreat View circle, Sanford FL
“The question was how Zimmerman should have taken the police advice, “We don’t need you to do that”, not which line to the police he was on.”
He wasn’t on with the police. That right there makes it legally irrelevant. Since when can’t you assert self-defense after failing to heed what a fellow civilian tells you they don’t need you to do? But that’s not the real point. Do we know for sure whether or not he did follow the non-lawful non-order? I’m not aware of any evidence proving he continued to follow Martin afterwards.
I have lived in my place three years and I still have to go read the street signs when I give friends directions. I walk and drive the streets everyday. I know how to get home so I don't necessarily need to know the address. I don't even know what my neighbors address is unless I go look on her door.
“Here is an excerpt”
That’s not the police telling him to do anything, which was the subject of my post.
Not necessarily true.
In some places, 911 operators and police dispatch operate under a commission of the local sheriff/state patrol.
They sure as heck ARE LEO and you ignore them at your own peril.
Really? In whose budget does Sean's salary fall?
Who says he ignored the order/suggestion? He said “OK” right after they told him not to do it.
“They sure as heck ARE LEO and you ignore them at your own peril.”
I don’t think they are law enforcement, and they most probably aren’t officers. They didn’t give an order, and I don’t think it would have had any legal force if they had. Since when can cops, assuming for argument’s sake that they were cops, order you to stop following someone over the phone? Anyway, finally I’m still waiting for evidence that he ignored the order, pretending for the moment it was an order.
“Really? In whose budget does Sean’s salary fall?”
I don’t know who Sean is, but what do I care? Is the lady who cleans toilets at the police station a cop?